The other day, two of the largest intellectual names in Turkey were picked up in the morning in their residence and detention. The two brothers, Ahmet and Mehmet Altan are among the biggest names in the intellectual Turkish scene. One is a bestseller author, journalist and editor-in-chief; the other is economics professor and well-known writer. Both are known throughout Turkey for their critical attitude towards the military’s role and position in the Turkish community. No one knows where they are staying, and their lawyers have not been able to access them.
The charge against them is that via a talk show the day before the military coup attempt, they sent hidden messages to people in front of the TV screens at home via the subconscious . This has to be said to be the result of state paranoia at an unprecedented high level. You can hardly imagine the evidence in such a farce of a lawsuit, and how the prosecutor’s office has thought to lift the burden of proof must stand in the uncertainty. And likewise, how a defense attorney could ward off such an assertion other than merely referring to the insane person in the actual charge.
Now, Turkey is still in declared state of emergency after the failed military coup attempt in July this year. And there are still “cleansing” in different parts of the state apparatus, as late as last week, 50,000 public servants fired. It may explain some of the insanity of the madness accusation bearing character.
When the pen is stronger than the sword
The arrest of the two Altan brothers was not mentioned in the state-supported newspapers. Fortunately, the arrest of them has resulted in an international signature collection in protest against the arrest. Thus, several world names, including several Nobel Prize winners, include Orhan Pamuk from Turkey. In addition, Salman Rushdie , Margaret Atwood , Hanif Kureishi and Gunter Walraff among the over 200 celebrated intellectuals who have signed the protest.
The accusation against Ahmet and Mehmet Altan states that via a talk show the day before the military coup attempt, allegedly sent hidden messages to people in front of the TV screens at home via the subconscious . This has to be said to be the result of state paranoia at an unprecedented high level. You can hardly imagine the evidence in such a farce of a lawsuit, and how the prosecution has imagined to lift the burden of proof must stand in the uncertain
It is common practice in unsettled countries to arrest intellectuals during crisis times, especially after military coup trial. In this case, arrest is strange, because Altan brothers are known for their strong resistance to the military and its role in the Turkish state and society structure. Seen in this light, arrest does not make much sense. Perhaps you can interpret it as a realization that the pen is always stronger than the sword, but it still does not explain the whole motive.
On the whole, subconsciousness is an interesting size in Turkish politics these days. A friend who has recently been in Turkey told how completely funny the situation currently. appear in the street scene in the wake of the failed military coup attempt. The only remarkable thing was that people did not talk about politics at all. Before, there was a certain debate culture and room for political discussions – this is now over, she said. It is hardly wrong to assume that the people in the subconscious mind are aware of the inconvenience.
A Turkish Scarecrow
In the foreign policy area, subconsciousness also seems to play an underlying role. In addition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his interest in closer military cooperation with the United States in Syria , , the same president has now announced that Turkey will also have a crucial role to play in the fight against IS in Mosul, Iraq. This even though you from official Iraqi teams have announced that you absolutely do not want Turkish presence in the area. The issue is identical to the previously mentioned politically-stressed relationship between the US and Turkey in Syria. Overall, one can reasonably conclude that President Erdogan’s scare scenario is the creation of an independent Kurdish state with American blessing. And with the story in mind, it’s a thought you can hardly claim is the grip of the blue sky.
If the logic is to be followed by the door, Turkish presence in both Syria and Iraq is required partly to conceal the Kurdish threat to Turkish interests, and to signal to the American collaborator that no agreements can be concluded with the Kurds behind the backs of Turkey.
What about the Erdogan economy
But it costs a dangerous lot of money to have troops stationed hid and did and everywhere. Turkish troops both in Syria and Iraq, and in the long run – if President Erdog’s plan is going well – in even greater numbers than now, the Turkish treasury bill will cost quite a considerable amount. The question is whether there is money for such military escapades, while they are struggling to clean up and out in the state apparatus after the failed military coup. And besides having heavy military spending, the country is also busy building various impressive buildings of different character. As so-called strong statesmen now have the habit of doing. Recently, the President opened the third bridge over the Bosphorus Strait upon entering the Black Sea. An impressive building project for the net sum of approx. 25 billion crowns.
Here you also play the subconscious of Turkish politics and power symbols: The bridge has been named after Yavuz Sultan Selim, which translated directly, “Sultan Selim the Strict.” The symbolism is not to overlook; During its reign in the 16th century, the Turkish empire became tripled, Aftenposten recently wrote (5 September 2016, p.3. The article is not available online).
Today’s Turkey is in its worst political crisis for many years. To accuse the two Altan brothers, the men of the pen, for inviting military coupons through subconsciousness may in fact be almost symbolic of the sad and dangerous state of political Turkey in the present time.
Image Source: Rumeli Hisari Fortress, Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey. Foto: Wikimedia Commons