Erdoğan’s leader state: Diary of a Turkish exile

Kurdish civilians are pushed out of the helicopter. Journalists who report on it are criminals. And the medical board? Full of “traitors”.

On October 18 in Sirnak: AKP leader Erdogan is greeted Foto: Murat Kula/Anadolou agency/picture alliance

20. September

I looked at wedding photos. Attorney General Yüksel Kocaman got married at the Sheraton in Ankara. The Chairman of the Court of Cassation, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of the Interior, the Chief of Staff, the Chairman of the Election Commission and many, many other important men were guests. The honeymoon before the wedding was already present in the media: by helicopter to the tourist coastal town of Bodrum, where you stayed in a hotel that costs 1,000 euros per night.

After the wedding, we went to the presidential palace. Tayyip Erdoğan in the middle of the bride and groom. The photo session with the president is wedding present enough. But how can a chief prosecutor, who in the past behaved like the tyrant’s devoted lackey anyway, top it off with thanks? More arrests, more state terrorism? Why do I now remember a sentence from Interior Minister Soylu, who was also the best man at the wedding? “You cannot compare us to Hitler. We didn’t kill anyone in gas chambers. “

The Mesopotamian News Agency, whose website is blocked in Turkey, reports an incident that happened nine days ago. In a village in Van Province, the villagers were rounded up by soldiers and had to kneel down. Two men, 55-year-old Servet Turgut and 50-year-old Osman Şiban, were taken away in a military helicopter. It was only days later that relatives were able to find them in a hospital several hundred kilometers from the village.

Disfigured their bodies, they are in the hospital. “My father has 11 broken bones, hemorrhages and cracks in his lungs,” says Turgut’s son. The men were pushed down by the helicopter. The sentence is inhuman, but true: “No cock crows at any poor Kurdish farmers.”

25. September

The exclusive honeymoon, the pompous wedding and the photo shoot with the president are bearing fruit. In the early hours of the morning, police counter-terrorism units struck. 82 top officials of the HDP (Democratic Party of the Peoples) were arrested. Among them the mayor of the city of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen, and the former MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder, who once worked with the government on a peace plan for the Kurdish question.

According to prosecutors, the arrests are linked to the October 2014 events in which 46 people died. The Kurdish border town of Kobani in Syria was about to be captured by the jihadists of the “Islamic State”. Tayyip Erdoğan celebrated the impending fall of the city with relish. The Kurds in Turkey were in an uproar and the HDP called for mass protest.

Those arrested are likely to spend years in custody, like the former leader of the party, Selahattin Demirtaş. The most brilliant politician Turkey has ever seen has been in prison for four years. “Membership in an armed terrorist organization” is the charge. The HDP received almost 12 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary elections. Perhaps the Fiihrer will have it banned. Thousands of party officials are behind bars anyway.

29. September

An opposition MP has published an internal official document on corona cases in Turkey. It is a detailed inventory of September 10th – number of approved tests, test results, etc. According to this, 29,377 people tested positive for Corona on this day. That is twenty times what was officially announced. The daily announcement by the Ministry of Health speaks of 1,512 people who tested positive for this day.

I spoke to my mother on the phone. “These villains lie,” she keeps saying. “You lie about everything. Why shouldn’t they lie about the corona cases? ”In the past few months, mayors, doctors and hospital staff who were confronted with the consequences of the virus on site had repeatedly questioned the official statements.

October 1

The daily newspaper spokesman has documented the strange transformation of a German textbook for 9th grade students. In the old edition of the year there is a map of Germany with “typically German” symbols. For example the Brandenburg Gate, the Frauenkirche in Dresden, the Cologne Cathedral, a car, a woman in a dirndl. A wine glass, a beer mug and the Oktoberfest are also represented. “Researched! What information can you find about Germany? Discuss your results in class! ”Says the textbook. The beer mug, wine glass and Oktoberfest have now been eliminated in the new edition. There are now white spots there thanks to Photoshop experts at the Department of Education.

Anyone who makes beer glasses disappear from school books in the national interest can certainly also manipulate corona case numbers. “In the fight against the pandemic, our state must protect not only the health of the population, but also national interests,” tweeted Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. Before that, he gossiped at a press conference. At some point it was decided to no longer disclose the number of cases of infected people, but only those of the sick who show symptoms. Even the Scientific Council he set up to combat the pandemic did not know that.

Neither did the World Health Organization, which included the Turkish numbers as daily infection cases in their statistics. There was also no indication of the change in the basis of the survey on the website of the Ministry of Health: There was talk of “infections”, not “sick people with symptoms”.

What’s the point of the medical association protesting? In any case, her explanation does not appear in the media that are in line. The Medical Association has appealed to the government dozens of times to handle data transparently. In cooperation with scientists, she wrote detailed reports on the development of the pandemic. On a day of action in September, doctors and nurses protested against the government’s failure with a black cord.

The synchronized media, however, spread the statement by Devlet Bahçeli, chairman of the Nationalist Action Party, the most important partner and supporter of President Tayyip Erdoğan: “Because of an alleged increase in corona cases, the band of traitors called the Medical Association wants to wear black cords. This is a poisonous and humiliating plot. The Turkish Medical Association is as dangerous as the coronavirus. “

I looked up the meaning of “delirium” in the Duden dictionary: “Clouding of consciousness that manifests itself in confusion and delusions.” I wonder whether only individuals can fall into delirium. Or even entire societies?

A court in Van has issued a ban. In view of the ongoing investigations, it is not allowed to report on the Kurdish farmers thrown from the military helicopter. One of the men, Servet Turgut, is now dead.

October 6th

The four journalists who investigated the drop from the helicopter for eyewitness and medical reports were arrested. A question of time, when they will be tried for “supporting a terrorist organization”.

October 13

The daily newspaper calendar headline: “Our words to the constitutional court member Engin, whose face resembles an assassin’s whiner: You will dangle on the gallows of this flagpole”. The Constitutional Court had conceded the judgment of a criminal chamber against Enis Berberoğlu, an opposition MP. For once in history, the criminal chamber refused to obey the judgment of the Constitutional Court. Engin Yıldırım, one of the chief judges, tweeted a night photo of the Constitutional Court with the text “Our lights are on” after the judgment received.

Yıldırım, a conservative who was appointed constitutional judge in the Erdoğan era, was then referred to as a “coupist”. “Our lights are always on,” says the Interior Ministry’s official Twitter account. The poor man. That he deleted the tweet and apologized will be of little use to him. Someone tweeted: “We are prisoners of violent pornography.”

The daily newspaper calendar belongs to the Turkuaz media group, led by the brother of Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, who is in turn finance minister. The media group Turkuaz (in the pool are the Turkish editions of Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Bazaar, House Beautiful and many more) belongs to the Kalyon construction company. The group that always wins public tenders.

I think I remember that the company made it world famous. Google, World Bank website: Private participation in infrastructure 1990–2019. Kalyon is one of the top ten companies in the world that have implemented public infrastructure contracts. Four are from Turkey, all of them linked to Tayyip Erdoğan.

October 14th

Erdoğan rages against the medical association. “How can we entrust our sick to them. How can we expect recovery? Can we expect that from terrorists? ”I think of Şebnem Korur Fincancı. She is the chairwoman of the Medical Association. An extraordinary woman. Professor of Forensic Medicine. She has contributed to the constitution of the United Nations standard work on the investigation and documentation of torture. In 1996 she was involved in the exhumation of mass graves and autopsies for the International Criminal Court in Bosnia.

She was able to prove murder and torture in the Philippines and Bahrain. She was once the head of the forensic medicine department. She was able to convict the head of the organized crime department of torture. It documented the murder of the trade unionist Süleyman Yeter. Many international awards, in Germany the Hessian Peace Prize. A few years ago we were waiting in front of an Istanbul prison for her to be released from custody. It only seems a matter of time before the medical board will be smashed.

15th October

Özer Sencar, professor and head of the Metropoll polling institute, is a trustworthy source. In an interview, he said that President Erdoğan’s party always had a voter approval between 30 and 35 percent. The party that has ruled Turkey for 18 years never sagged below 30 percent. The approval for Tayyip Erdoğan is significantly above this percentage. How can that be in view of the catastrophic development, the decline of the lira, impoverishment and mismanagement in the corona crisis?

Are nationalism, religious slogans, an expansionist and aggressive foreign policy enough to cover it all up? The professor, a man of empiricism, statistics and numbers, gives an answer that is actually inappropriate: “It is the belief in Tayyip Erdoğan.” The belief. It’s like gambling: once you’ve bet on a horse, there’s no going back. Even in the face of disaster, one does not want to admit mistakes. After all, Turkey is on the way to becoming a great power.

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