As the corruption and bribery issues dominate Turkish daily agenda and graft probe turns into a political crisis, AKP is facing more than just a governmental obstacle before elections. The Gülen movement has started an all out attack against Erdogan’s legacy, and so far has caused several MPs and ministers from the governing AKP. Today has witnessed an early start with three ministers resigning one after another, third one being a rather calm person who has sided with Erdogan for a long time, Erdogan Bayraktar the former minister of environment and urbanization.
First two ministers said they would resign in order to better fight with global conspiracies against Turkey’s and AKP’s great success and economic development, coming in the shape of a graft probe and arrest of their sons as well as confiscation of the “found millions” in shoe boxes. Third minister Bayraktar’s final statement focused on the treatment of ministers in the cabinet. He said that he is not fine with the pressure he has been receiving from PM Erdogan, that he does not like the way he was handed over an envelope in which there was a resignation letter and a press release both to be signed and distributed to media. Bayraktar’s final statement came live on government-friendly NTV where he said “the Prime Minister himself has his signature and approval on all controversial topics that I was accused of, it is actually him who should resign to clear this mess.” Those being his last words as minister, he resigned not only from cabinet but also from parliament, leaving him out of the immunity-umbrella.
The social communities formed during and after OccupyGezi protests called for a “clean government” meeting to call for Erdogan to resign after Bayraktar’s call. Across Turkey for several cities calls have been made and people waited for the time to come. When clocks struck 20:00, Kadiköy on the Asian side of Istanbul was filled by thousands of people demanding resignation of the government. Originally, one would think that the police would be on the side of the people for once after being treated so bad by PM Erdogan (over a thousand policemen were fired and replaced as retaliation for arresting ministers’ sons over corruption and bribes).
With the new police forces’ changes, since morning the police has been resisting against the orders from prosecutors to bring Prime Minister Erdogan’s son to be questioned over his involvement in the corruption and bribery issues, and moreover it is claimed that special forces are now guarding Bilal Erdogan in his house against any kind of arrest warrant that might be issued by any prosecutor or judge.
This shows that the policemen can take initiative and do not have to follow immoral orders; that they can resist against any order and do not have to put the blame on being the “foot servants of the commanders”. Just as they have resisted against prosecutor’s orders, they could have easily disobeyed the orders and respect human rights and international law, and treat protestors as human beings. However, in Kadiköy all the brutality of Gezi Park has been brought back in the form of water cannons, tear gas, baton, kicks, punches and hatred against civilians.
The new cabinet has been appointed by Prime Minister Erdogan in the meantime with the change of 10 ministers at once. After his speech yesterday likening the current atmosphere to a new Independence War of Turkey, it can be said that he has chosen the people who form up a war cabinet, including the most controversial and infamous figures as new ministers. While he was saying that he would vouch for all his ministers and appointed personnelle only a couple of days ago, today Erdogan’s comments on resigned ministers was significant: “we got rid of the bad ones from ourselves!”
In the eyes of protesting millions, the new ministers are responsible for so many scandals of past years, and many deaths (especially during OccupyGezi) unfortunately. It is unfortunate to see mainstream media sleeping over this and reverting back to penguin documentaries. Yet, rule of law has long been forgotten in this country; as Prime Minister has put it himself “this government will do whatever it takes to fulfill the wishes of 50% of voters”. It is an ironic and scary comparison that Hitler received about 50% of votes when his dirty plans were obvious and a huge part of a nation was drunk with the charisma of power that they did not even realize they were being victims of an upcoming slaughter.