Mehmet Çağçağ’s cartoon that appeared on Habertürk TV last week was amazing. It portrayed wives of military officers rallying next to the Saturday Mothers in Beyoğlu. As is known, the mothers, sisters and daughters of people who were murdered by unknown assailants during military coups and states of emergency have been staging protests for many years in Beyoğlu.
The picture --even in a cartoon-- showing these people who had seen the sorrows of the period sitting side by side with the wives of military officers is really tragicomic. We have always said, and are continuing to say, that everyone should uphold the rule of law as this will be of utmost importance to every individual at some point.
Murat Erdin recently published a wonderful book: “Silahsız Kuvvetler: Medya” (Unarmed Forces: Media). The book reminds its forgetful readers of the states of emergency in Turkey and what the military and the media did during those periods. It reminds us of past events -- such as tanks being mobilized and living under the threat of weapons being used to combat reactionaryism -- and discourse, such as a senior commander’s daring threat about what might be done to those who failed to comply with their orders and how the media used that statement to ignite conflict.
Turkey is now trying to leave those periods of disorder behind. The independent prosecutors and judges of this country are now trying to investigate those dark periods of its past, and they are trying those who used their authorities unlawfully and who tried to lay the groundwork for a military coup.
This beautiful country is trying to renovate and rejuvenate itself. It strives to evolve from being a country governed by terror, chaos and iron fists to one that is both for the public and governed by democratically elected people. It tries to become a country where no one is denigrated or “otherized” because of his/her language, religion or race. As you know, Turkey launched the efforts to become a new country that we see today in Egypt and Tunisia much earlier than those two.
Turkey is approaching a new critical threshold in this process of renewal. It intends to draft a new and civilian constitution after the elections. At this critical threshold, the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has stepped in, as usual. A well-known conspiracy is being staged again. As was seen with regard to Turgut Özal’s efforts to renew the country, the 2007 elections, the referendum of Sept. 12 and many other critical turning points, the PKK comes into play and instigates chaos. At the behest of Murat Karayılan, the PKK is preparing to fan the flames of chaos for the sake of the status quo at a time when the country is headed toward elections.
This time, they will try a different strategy since all of their previous tactics have been exposed. They have plans, which include children, of creating “battlefields” in big cities and triggering sectarian conflict.
The primary purpose of these actions is to blow wind in the sails of ethnic politics and block all of the country’s democratic initiatives and efforts for renewal. Therefore, if all the others in the country -- Kurds, Alevis, devout people, Syriacs -- do not say “stop” to this conspiracy, many people, like the Saturday Mothers, will feel sorrow over their dead children.