MERVE BÜŞRA ÖZTÜRK

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MERVE BÜŞRA ÖZTÜRK
October 31, 2012, Wednesday

For whose good?

The repercussions of the clashes between the Turkish police and protesters, mainly comprising supporters of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) who insisted on holding a banned rally on Monday, the 89th anniversary of the founding of the republic, are still ongoing, with columnists criticizing the ban which was introduced for security reasons.

Bugün’s Gülay Göktürk says that everyone knows that the CHP tries to turn the Oct. 29 celebrations into crisis every single year, because this party, which fails to function well politically, is trying to maintain its power and role in politics through symbolic fights. The CHP’s intention with the rally was clear: It wanted to organize protests in banned areas and thus create clashes between the police and the protestors. This way, it portrays itself as a “pro-republican” party and receives more credit from the public, while depicting the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) as an authoritarian and anti-republican party. Göktürk says the CHP surely does not have any good intentions in planning such a protest on Oct. 29. However, it is a fact that ruling a country does not mean ruling over only those with good intentions. In fact, it is more crucial to have the skill to hamper the attempts of those with bad intentions, she says, arguing that the AK Party should have just dealt with any incidents in the rally rather than banning it altogether.

Taraf’s Ahmet Altan recounted a memory back when he was serving his military duty. One night, he was woken up by some noises, and he saw a major severely beating up a private. With every slap, the major shouted, “For whose good I am beating you?” And the private would yell back, “For my good, sir!” The major finally got tired of beating the private and “doing him a favor,” and the private was taken to the infirmary. This was an unforgettable event for Altan, but what is more important, he says, is that the mindset of “the state beating up its citizens for their own good” remains alive. In fact, this is what exactly happened on Monday. The CHP, which would impose things that it deemed right on Turks when it was in power in the past, is now forced to celebrate Republic Day the way the AK Party wants and deems correct, and the AK Party ended up beating the CHP, claiming it is for its own good.

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