The two lat­est decrees with force of law n°695 and 696, announced on Decem­ber 24 2017 in Turkey don’t stop with the dec­la­ra­tion of new purges. They promise qua­si-immu­ni­ty to “civil­ians” demon­strat­ing their “civic” anti-terrorism.

One recalls the images of hys­ter­i­cal groups pun­ish­ing young Turk­ish sol­diers after the failed coup attempt in 2016. And one knows how that failed putsch, trans­formed into a heav­en-sent gift for Erdo­gan was out­ra­geous­ly instru­men­tal­ized, to such an extent that we can now describe it as an ongo­ing suc­cess­ful civil­ian coup d’é­tat, and not be wrong in doing so.

Turkey is still under a state of emer­gency regime, renewed five times since the con­sti­tu­tion­al change, and is ever more gov­erned by suc­ces­sive decrees. Par­lia­ment has become at best a reg­is­tra­tion cham­ber, a resid­ual demo­c­ra­t­ic facade giv­en to speechifying.

Here is thus an Nnth decree desta­bi­liz­ing, dis­miss­ing, throw­ing out on the street more than 2700 civ­il ser­vants or State employ­ees. More than 140 000 of them have already been sub­ject­ed to this fate since 2016. Among them, over 55 000 were arrest­ed at one point or anoth­er, or are present­ly sub­ject to legal proceedings.

At Kedis­tan, we have fol­lowed and accom­pa­nied the exem­plary strug­gle, both des­per­ate and emblem­at­ic, of Nuriye and Semih, not to men­tion oth­ers, fight­ing against this pol­i­cy of purges destroy­ing lives and fam­i­lies. Their strug­gle continues.

No one can be fooled by the July 15 2016 ali­bi. If some sol­diers, police­man and high-rank­ing offi­cials were indeed linked to the Gülen polit­i­cal sphere – some with the AKP’s bless­ing in pre­ced­ing years when this trend coex­ist­ed with Erdo­gan dur­ing his rise to pow­er, oth­ers, the greater num­ber, were oppor­tunis­tic vic­tims. The vast major­i­ty of the “liq­ui­dat­ed” are oppo­nents, vic­tims of infor­mants and denun­ci­a­tions, or of the set­tling of accounts. In their qua­si-total­i­ty, the aca­d­e­mics are sig­na­to­ries of the Peti­tion for Peace, or oppo­nents to the edu­ca­tion­al reforms.

Although jour­nal­ists are arrest­ed and pros­e­cut­ed under oth­er pro­ceed­ings, agen­cies, and medias are also shut down by decree. Across Turkey, some sev­en­teen  insti­tu­tions, two news­pa­pers and sev­en addi­tion­al asso­ci­a­tions will be elim­i­nat­ed this time.

But we might say there’s not much news in this…

Once again, ter­ror­ism is des­ig­nat­ed as the scourge jeop­ar­diz­ing nation­al uni­ty and, with the 2016 putsch as an excuse, one quick­ly arrives at a gen­er­al­ized ter­ror­ism lurk­ing in dark cor­ners. Every oppo­nent becomes a poten­tial domes­tic ene­my and will be pros­e­cut­ed as such.

One need only take in the litany of arrests and impris­on­ments touch­ing every social cat­e­go­ry, all types of per­son­alites or sim­ple human rights activists, polit­i­cal offi­cials or rank-and-file mem­ber, jour­nal­ists and intel­lec­tu­als, in order to find each one brand­ed with “ter­ror­ism”.

It is now admit­ted jurispru­dence that one who does not sub­mit is a ter­ror­ist, does pro­pa­gan­da for ter­ror­ism, or main­tains links with terrorism.

But this time, the dev­il is in the details.

Since its pub­li­ca­tion in the offi­cial gazette, jurists are cau­tion­ing against one sen­tence con­cern­ing “the cit­i­zens’ bat­tle against terrorism”.

Whether the per­son bears an offi­cial title or not, is ful­fill­ing an offi­cial duty or not, any­one who acts or has act­ed to pre­vent the com­mis­sion of the coup d’é­tat that unfold­ed on 15.7.2016 as well as ter­ror­ist actions, and actions in con­ti­nu­ity to them, does not incur for these acts any judi­ci­airy, admin­is­tra­tive, finan­cial or penal responsibility. 

A reward for gen­er­al­ized denun­ci­a­tion already exists since 2016. The sys­tem­at­ic sur­veil­lance of large towns (let’s not even men­tion Turk­ish Kur­dis­tan) is in effect. A cam­era or spy­ware is less obvi­ous than a uni­form on the cor­ner of the street. Cer­tain AKP cadres or mil­i­tants have seen their access to weapons widened and legal­ized. Sup­ple­men­tary police forces are legion. The State appa­ra­tus has been sub­ject­ed to purges and over­hauls, and even trans­fers of pow­ers to the polit­i­cal sphere. Jus­tice executes.

And at the bot­tom of this repres­sive pyra­mid, the civil­ian who will hence­forth want to “serve the One and Indi­vis­i­ble Nation” by his direct inter­ven­tion against sus­pi­cion and the ter­ror­ist threat, will have the pos­si­bil­i­ty of ben­e­fit­ing from immunity.

 The struc­ture was still lack­ing a right to kill. 

It has now become pos­si­ble by decree, thanks to a big­ot­ed and nation­al­is­tic pop­ulism. Occult mili­tias can rise again and com­pen­sate for those rare remain­ing legal dif­fi­cul­ties in the demo­c­ra­t­ic facade, still hin­der­ing the liq­ui­da­tion of opponents.

The first to rejoice in Turkey was a noto­ri­ous thug and mob­ster who had already promised a “blood bath” to aca­d­e­mics who had signed the Appeal for Peace.

The decree open­ly encour­ag­ing like­ly sum­ma­ry and arbi­trary exe­cu­tions, the Turk­ish Bar imme­di­ate­ly expressed its very legit­i­mate concerns.

One can also make the link with the recent rev­e­la­tions by Garo Pay­lan (HDP deputy) who hand­ed over to Euro­pean gov­ern­ments the names of oppo­nents con­sid­ered as ter­ror­ist ene­mies of Turkey abroad, tar­get­ed for assas­si­na­tion. Their authors would be cleared of wrong­do­ing in advance… And we already know of the Turk­ish gov­ern­men­t’s pres­sure tac­tics against the Euro­pean gov­ern­ments, on the ques­tion of migrants as well as on that of arma­ment deals, not to men­tion de geo-polit­i­cal ques­tions rel­a­tive to the Irak-Syr­ia nego­ti­a­tions via “Gen­er­al Putin”.

Oth­er sec­tions of the decree might seem almost anecdotal.

A few examples…

Arti­cle 6–87 – Vakıf­bank is trans­ferred to the pub­lic trea­sury. Mean­ing it is put under pro­tec­tion. As a reminder, the bank’s name appears in the Zarrab affair. If a con­dem­na­tion should occur in the Unit­ed States, the Turk­ish pub­lic trea­sury will pay, and not the recip­i­ents of the bribes of course.

Arti­cle 15 – Pro­fes­sion­al exams are elim­i­nat­ed for assign­ments of high rank­ing offi­cials in for­eign affairs. Hir­ing will be done by sim­ple inter­view. MIT per­son­nel (Turk­ish intel­li­gence) could thus be assigned abroad more eas­i­ly as For­eign Affairs staff for intel­li­gence purposes.

Arti­cle 45 – Modal­i­ties for the ses­sions and the deci­sion process­es of the Gen­er­al Coun­cil of the Appel­late Court and the Gen­er­al Penal Coun­cil are mod­i­fied. Noti­fi­ca­tion is giv­en that these changes will be in effect until the end of 2022. Long live the state of emer­gency until 2023.

Arti­cle 61 – The under-sec­re­tari­at of the defence indus­try has been attached to the pres­i­den­cy. You might as well say that the defence indus­try will be head­ed by the new son-in-law, Bayraktar.

Arti­cle 86 – Pri­vate banks will be enti­tled the trans­fer of exter­nal debts to firms or funds guar­an­teed by the State. Which means that, should there be loss­es, the bills will be paid by the pub­lic treasury.

Arti­cle 88 – Civ­il ser­vants assigned to pen­i­ten­tiaries can­not resign before the end of their manda­to­ry ser­vice peri­od, if they do, they must make a dou­ble reim­burse­ment of their expens­es to the State. This means that guards who do not want to per­se­cute and wish to resign can­not do so.

Arti­cle 108–109 – The “kayyum” (admin­is­tra­tors named by the State to replace a may­or or the dis­missed head of a firm) need not be con­firmed, which means they can­not be held respon­si­ble, even if they cause its bankcrup­cy because of its ille­gal exploitation.

Final­ly, arti­cles 101–103 deal with the adop­tion and gen­er­al­iza­tion of the “goose-shit” col­ored uni­forms for those accused of ter­ror­ism linked to the failed putsch… the wear­ing of the uni­form will no doubt then be extend­ed to sus­pects of ter­ror­ism in general.

In a recent Kedis­tan col­umn, the ques­tion was raised of “Turkey on the way to…”

One might almost say that, through the mean­der­ings of an end-of-year decree, an extra side­step has been tak­en on the nar­row path this regime is walk­ing on the road to fas­cism, if such a side­step was still necessary.

Behind the glit­ter­ing lib­er­al and mod­ernist facade promised for Turkey 2023, Turkey’s cen­ten­ni­al year, a new nation­al rev­o­lu­tion is tak­ing hold, a pop­ulism steeped in Sun­ni islamism and Erdo­gan’s old­er than the moon caliphate. It could putre­fy the coun­try.

The ultra-nation­al­is­tic lib­er­al­ism of Mer­al Akşen­er (İyi Par­ti – the Good Par­ty) might almost appear clean­er and more promis­ing for the future, com­pared to the AKP regime, and the CHP’s Kemal­ism, a refuge for democracy.

This lat­est decree reveals the ongo­ing cri­sis of a pow­er forg­ing ahead in its mad dri­ve, dis­in­te­grat­ing the nation-State on which it rests, and adding extra fea­tures to the infer­nal machine, per­haps as ear­ly ide­o­log­i­cal prepa­ra­tion for the next elections.

Elec­tions or civ­il war… A new ref­er­en­dum question?

Français : Obtenir un per­mis de tuer en Turquie… Cliquez pour lire

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