Aziz Kamil CanEnglish

THE STATE OF ESPIONAGE

It was the days when the only political “Party” of a country, having literally lost the “Justice” in its name, and focused only and solely on its own personal “Development”, has destroyed all the gains of a hundred year old democracy and managed to transform the country called Turkey, into a “Country of Espionage”.

This version of administration was inspired from a neighbouring country called Syria, which was once loved, then hated, then irrigated with the blood of Turkish soldiers who were sent there under the guise of domestic threat.

As everybody knew, Mukhabarat, the Syrian Intelligence Service, has been the most prominent power that held Syria up for more than 40 years. Mukhabarat was the name given to the whole of more than ten, large and small, intelligence units, and the only authority they were accountable to, was the Chief of the state. This service, which had a network spread all around the country, from the capital city to distant villages, used to have at least 27 facilities around Syria, which it had used for arrests and interrogations. These were, as named by the Human Rights Watch, “torture archipelagos”.

Mukhabarat was different from other intelligence services with one distinct characteristic: Its efficiency was coming, not from its covertness, on the contrary, from its overtness. Until the beginning of the revolution, the Mukhabarat workers did not feel the need to hide who they were and whom they were working for. Since their aim was to give no respite to people, not to let them to make any noise about the regime, and to prevent even the slightest wriggle, their message was clear, too: Mukhabarat is present in all places, at any time!

How similar had the present day Turkey become to its neighbour. With the issued KHKs (governmental decrees), everyone who worked for the Chief of the Turkish Mukhabarat have been granted impunity from all legal consequences of their criminal acts. While the Mukhabarat workers in the neighbouring country were themselves committing tortures and other crimes, those in Turkey went a step further and had been legally granted permission to commit crimes, just so that the Chief is kept away from all kinds of damages.

Yes indeed, in the name of protecting the Chief, the neighbouring country was intimidating its people by spreading “fear”, but in Turkey, they were exploiting many kinds of values, most prominently “religion”, alongside fear. While for them, everything could be an instrument on the way to “faith”, the “faith/religion” itself had become an instrument to protect the power of the Chief.

And what a superb instrument it had been! Under the spell of this stimulus, a woman dared to report and put her finger on her husband; a father reported his daughter; relatives reported their relatives, neighbours reported their neighbours for being terrorists, although they have known these people for many years and never witnessed any of their wrongdoings, just because they were not supporting the Chief.

This trait of espionage has reached such a level in the society that the media broadcast the news of two women, whose casual private talk among each other criticising the Chief, has been listened by a man sitting behind them in the bus. The man determinedly followed one of the woman from the bus-stop she had got off and called the police and made her arrested. Such an eclipse of reasoning could only be the result of this kind of stimulus which was achieved to be aroused in the country.

This nation, who consider their formal Muslimness above all blames and never allow anyone to speak ill of their religion, had so many times trailed behind many faith exploiters. This latest Exploiter, too, had realised this weak point of this nation and managed to induce a mass-hypnosis over them.

The so-called opposition, on the other hand, being unaware of what was going on and living in a world completely separated from the values and traditions of the public, was engaged in only assailing the beliefs of the people.

After religion, the other weapon used by the Mukhabarat was “fear”. “I am from those who say ‘No’ to war. If they are going to make me pay the price for saying this, so let it be. I can, too, go into prison after the age of 77,” was saying actor Metin Akpınar, and was emphasising a notion whose effect on human psychology cannot be underestimated: “Fear is contagious.

There was no doubt that the most important ramification of the weapon of fear was judiciary. For this reason, step by step, the judiciary had been connected to the Mukhabarat. After this had been achieved, whoever uttered a word contradicting with the ideas of the governing power, were sent to prison by being linked to the military coup attempt, committed under the control of the Mukhabarat, and consequently linked to a section of the society called “jamaat” who had been made a scapegoat.

After all, the scapegoated jamaat was the only saviour and purifier for the Chief, upon whom he could charge everyone’s errors, including his own. As is known, a scapegoat is the name given to a person or a group of people who are punished for the offences of others, although they did not commit the charged offence.

We come across to the notion of “scapegoating” in different societies at different time periods in history. At the services held for the Day of Atonement mentioned in the Old Testament, sins of the Israelites used to be symbolically burdened on a male goat. This goat used to be selected by a lot and thrown down off a cliff outside Jerusalem, in order to cool the wrath of Hebrew Demon Azazel down, and to remove the sins of the Israelites. In ancient Greece, humans were used as scapegoats to subside or prevent disasters such as plagues. People of Athens used to choose one man and one woman during Thargelia festival. After the festival, this couple used to be led around the town and whipped with thin, green branches and cast outside the town, there, mostly stoned to death. By doing this, they used to believe that, for a year, the town will be protected from any ill fortune.

Similarly, the Chief of this country had also discovered the victim called jamaat and had been successfully charged all kinds of sins on it. Now, he and his supporters were purified from all those sins and the evil thing was the goat anymore. It deserved to be stoned and thrown off the cliff. When this would be accomplished, the country could, only then, reach blitheness.

Alas, although it has been years since the goat has been charged with all the crimes, everything was still getting worse and worse. Scrupulous and rational individuals of the society, on the other hand, who started to see the reality, preferred remaining silent, like a tongueless devil, because this time, the “judicial instrument” of the Mukhabarat was in the game. Whereas, was administering and distributing justice not the duty of the judiciary?

The civilised part of the world, instead of entrusting the administration of the state to one person and become his slave, has developed a three-legged system of checks and balances: legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

Once, the country called Turkey, too, had this system, but now it was something only read in books. In practice, however, a completely different style of administration was in force.

The Legislative Branch: It was an arena, or a theatre hall, where some men and women, who think they are the representatives of the nation, used to gather just to make the Chief happy. Here, these few bumpkins used to first shout and scream, and entertain the Chief, then perfunctorily hold a voting session for the new laws. Each and every time, the things that the Chief wanted were being made a law. Sometimes, if the Chief is not pleased with the play staged here, this theatre hall would be closed down for at least a year and the legislation duty would be given to the Executive.

The Executive Branch: It was comprised of secretaries who worked under the command of the Chief. The Chief was able to move ahead faster with them. Sometimes, he would either batter, or fire a secretary he had been angry with.

The Judiciary Branch: It was the unit that pursued and kept track of the Chief’s legal affairs. Whilst sometimes, if there is a need for tea, members of this unit used to work like farmhands and pick up tea leaves for the Chief. They would never fail in showing respect to the Chief, and whenever they would see him, they would bow down like they do in daily prayers. Sometimes –must be because of over-excitement– they would forget that they are actually women, they would try to fasten the non-existing buttons of their judicial robes in front of him out of respect.

Media, the fourth power, was under the absolute control of the Chief. Now, the whole news networks in the country were being fed from one single source. This source was “The Wise Chief”. If, by accident, a diverse voice is heard or a writing is published, the sequel for its owner was obvious. They were terrorists anymore, for all of the media would depict them like this, while all so-called opposition parties would justify the Chief, all members of the judiciary would agree that writings are weapons, and to the surprise of their partners, friends and relatives, who were initially flummoxed by all this, it would suddenly become clear that these journalists were actually wolves under the fleece of sheep (!).

What really interesting was, when seeing that everyone announces them as terrorists, being very perplexed about their situation and thinking that so many people cannot fall in the same error at the same time, these people were starting to apologise during the court hearings for being armed terrorists (!) and by displaying their sincere regret, they were expressing their desire to benefit from the provisions of “effective remorse” and become citizens worthy of the Chief.

Do you wonder what happened in the end to this State of Mukhabarat? Let us look at its neighbour for this: Despite the fact that everything had been under the control of the Chief during his more than forty years of reign, the country had never found peace. So many atrocities the country had suffered through. In only Hama massacre, 40 thousand people had been killed. All that’s left now is a divided, devastated Syria; a Chief who has been the batman of Putin; hundreds and thousands who had been killed, millions of victims who had to leave their homeland; and an aggrieving, ruined country… The situation had also been similar in the country called Turkey.

In this time travel I made to the future, I am looking back and relating the disastrous situation my beloved country had gone through… Those who had savaged, persecuted and oppressed my country and my people with a never-ending fury and rancour, are not living among us today… Meanwhile, when very occasionally their names are mentioned, they are condemned vehemently… Did it really worth?

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