But this time they are openly defending their rights and want to have a more livable country. They have the right to do so. But two important points must be observed: What methods are to be used in seeking justice and revolting against injustice so that we do not incline toward anarchy and so that the rights of others are not breached? This is where Turkey now stands.
From now on, no on should keep silent. And this is the right thing to do. People should demand the rights to which they are entitled as citizens and should also raise their voice against all discrimination they face. This is an inevitable development and there is no need to be afraid of it. Indeed this is in accordance with human nature. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that democratic and legal claims made by the silent majority as well as their demands for accountability are the guarantees of a democratic system.
No junta can conduct a coup alone. First, certain conditions must be met before democracy is abolished. “Action plans” that are being discussed by the general public for several months are proof of this. The government must be crippled and animosity must be fueled among various social groups. People should not be put into a situation in which they are surrounded by chaotic incidents so that they would start saying, “We are ready for everything that may happen and we will willingly accept military guardianship if it can bring security.” The military takeover is the last and easiest step. If plots and conspiracies can be implemented before the coup, people will be weary and political power will be weak. Dictatorship will soon follow suit.
Conditions have since changes the world and Turkey, too, has changed. Today, even the most insidious plot can no longer be implemented. More clearly, conditions for a military takeover have disappeared. For instance, intense media support would be needed for a coup. This alone is not enough as businessmen would have to invite the junta. This, too, falls short of what is required -- people who call themselves the civil society, but who used to receive instructions from psychological warfare departments, would have to hold rallies or public demonstrations. Added to this, people who were responsible for the security of the country would have to arrange illegal activities so as to create hostility among opposing groups in the country. The media, businessmen, uncivil civil society, insecure forces responsible for the security of the country -- all of them would have to cooperate for some time to pave the way for a coup. And as the final step, the military would step in as if there was no other remedy.
The secrets of coups have been deciphered. First and foremost, people want democracy to operate within its respective rules. This is very important. Citizens have the right to bring down a ruling power they are not satisfied with. That said who has the right to use opportunities that have been entrusted to him because of his position against the elected power? How can institutions that survive on citizen’s taxes find in itself the right to subjugate a citizen’s will? The people are uniting (in every sense of the word) over this very important point. It is also necessary to realize the fact that a significant portion of the media can’t and won’t be able to tout coups any longer. We saw the mournful fate the pro-coup media suffered in the Feb. 28, 1997 coup. The nation has not forgotten the memorandum, appendixes and lies. Those who still want to be a mouthpiece for military quarters through these old methods are being reprehended by the people. They will be reprehended even more in the future because there is no other example of this kind of twisted media mentality in the world. The media is by nature obliged to be libertarian and democratic. The business world used to comprise an elite and narrow group of people. Now capital has spread across a much wider base. The expectation of sycophantism from the business world for coups stems from a lack of awareness of Turkey’s integration with world trade. Everyone now knows those who are pro-civilian and those who are controlled and pro-coup. You don’t become a civilian simply by saying “I am a civil society organization.”
The era of creating chaos by engaging in activities that incite conflict among citizens has also ended. The evidence seized during the Ergenekon investigation alone is enough to expose the bloody and dark games that have been played in this country, such as the bomb explosions, assassinations, events that incite ethnic and sectarian violence and killing non-Muslims and blaming it on religious people. Those who carried out, attempted and lent logistical and strategic support to these incidents are making a clamor now that they have reached the end of the road. But no matter what they do it is useless because their masks have dropped. The people understood that they needed to defend their most basic rights and started to ask questions by standing up for their democratic rights.
Fighting for rights begins by drawing a legal framework. This framework protects the individual against the system and prevents wrong actions being taken in temporarily entrusted state positions. We must be brave! The search for the rights of people that are afraid of their own shadows cannot be convincing. Democratic courage, in its true meaning, requires being a civil society; in other words, it requires being independent and libertarian. We must not forget that the right to ask questions whilst respecting the law is invested in the people. Everyone is required to be transparent before the people, accountable to the people and reasonable about their legal demands. Because society has not only found the courage to demand its rights but has also developed the ability to ask questions. It is impossible to turn back from this point.
What sort of bar is this?
The Young Civilians welcomed the İstanbul Bar Association, which seems to have supported Ergenekon, with a banner protesting the bar’s stance. Bar members who walked hand-in-hand with Republican People’s Party (CHP) figures became furious when they saw the banner, which read “Pro-coup bar! Welcome to Taksim.” The bar members almost lynched the Young Civilians. In fact, their fury was for nothing; the public perception is no different than this. Unfortunately, the reason for this negative perception was the attitude of the bar administrators.
What sort of community of lawyers is this? They file a lawsuit with the Council of State to lift a recent decision addressing an inequality in the Student Selection Examination (ÖSS). It is impossible to understand why the bar adopts such an ideological and restrictive stance while equality between people is a universal principle. It is even more interesting to note that they did this upon an instruction and recommendation by former Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadoğlu. Worse still, the bar chairman committed a felony when he said equality is between equal people. This statement alone is a reflection of a mindset eager to violate fundamental principles of universal law.
Their criminal report includes many entries, but I would like to recall a few: What sort of bar is this that it opposes legal wiretapping but remains silent when even the prime minister’s speeches are illegally intercepted? What sort of bar is this that it receives extensive criticisms because it extends support to Hursit Tolon, Levent Ersöz and Arif Doğan, all of whom are being held in custody in connection with the Ergenekon investigation? What sort of bar is this that it denies the right of former prosecutor Sacit Kayasu to practice law despite the fact that the European Court of Human Rights has confirmed the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) committed a violation of the legal rules when it removed him from office because he asked for the trial of coup plotters? Is it possible to reconcile the stance of the bar members when they ignored Kayasu’s requests and their attitude supporting the Sept. 12  coup? What sort of bar is this that it drafts a report on the Ergenekon investigation and picks Ersöz’s lawyer as the drafter? What sort of bar is this that it causes a scandal by appointing an Ergenekon lawyer to defend Osman Yıldırım, who uncovered the Ergenekon organization and that the Council of State attack was carried out by this organization? What sort of bar is this that it promotes the headscarf ban and extended support to the state during the hearing of the headscarf case at the European court.
Regrettably, the İstanbul Bar Association does not appear to be a civilian organization. They are now viewed as a pro-coup actor because of their actions. This is the common perception because it constantly defends restrictions and bans; it introduces bans against intern lawyers who want to study at the Internship Training Center with their headscarves on. It holds panels to oppose the opening of the Heybeliada seminary. It strongly opposes the Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) attempts to change the Constitution. It appears to support a prosecutor who distorted the Ergenekon investigation and failed to be re-elected president of the Judges and Prosecutors Association (YARSAV) because of his politicized stance.
The Young Civilians had every reason to react to the Istanbul Bar Association. In fact, a substantial part of bar members do not approve of its actions and policies. The administrations of other bars oppose the ideological stance of the İstanbul bar. Most importantly, the public strongly opposes the bar. There is no explanation for an attitude favoring a coup at an institution bringing lawyers together. The İstanbul bar has to fix this immediately. Otherwise, the Young Civilians will be waiting for them. The changing Turkey shows this.