Allegations made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that bugging devices were found in his office in his Ankara home evoked a debate among columnists, who say that it is highly likely that Erdoğan is being eavesdropped on, citing the common belief that the deep state in Turkey has not yet been eradicated and clandestine networks within the state may indeed be listening in on Erdoğan’s conversations.
Sabah’s Hasan Celal Güzel recalls that when former President Turgut Özal would talk about something secret with him, they would go outside the Çankaya presidential palace and cover their mouths with their hands when talking to prevent people from reading their lips. Former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit was also sure that the deep state was listening in on him. And former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan would always turn on the radio when talking about something secret. So it is not something new that our country’s prime minister is being eavesdropped on. And what’s more, as technology advances, our lives have become more transparent than ever. Therefore, Güzel says, Erdoğan’s claim of being bugged has not surprised him a bit. “Erdoğan is the leader of a Turkey which is becoming a stronger global actor each day and one of the most influential leaders in the world. Of course he is the person that people will try to eavesdrop on most,” Güzel says.
Meanwhile, Sedat Laçiner from the Star daily focuses on Erdoğan’s statement that Turkey has not yet managed to completely eliminate clandestine networks nested in various state bodies. Laçiner agrees with the prime minister and says that the ongoing trials concerning the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer coup plans have indeed slowed down and weakened some deep structures within the country, but new structures have been formed while the trials have been taking place. The ongoing trials did some good by breaking the militarist and pro-coup mentality that prepared the groundwork for the deep state, but they did not eradicate the deep state for good. Thus, saying that Turkey’s fight against the deep state has ended would be nothing but delusional. We can’t clear the structures that were formed over dozens of years in a short period of time. And with that said, how can it be surprising news that Erdoğan is being listened in on, the columnist asks.