Letter from Lhasa, number 322. Intra-State Destabilization. Turkey’s Case Study

Letter from Lhasa, number 322. Intra-State Destabilization. Turkey’s Case Study

by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi

The declining Ottoman Empire aligned with the Central Powers during WW1. It was consequently defeated with them. So, Turkey was partially occupied from Allied forces.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his war of independence restored the formal independence of Turkey, while the Western powers accepted it. They did not need their military occupation for getting the already got Turkish subordination.

Kemalism represented the formal westernization of Turkey and some limited modernization spiced with a strong para-Jacobin-style or nazi-fascist-style rhetoric and propaganda. On 29 October 1923, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed and WW2 will finally see it formally aligned with the Allied side, after a long phase of neutrality. Guarantor of this republican new orderde factowas the Turkish Army. It reaffirmed its leading position by the 1960, 1971 and 1980 coups d'état. 

This Kemalist order began to be reversed with the 2002 general elections’ victory of theJustice and Development Partyof Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It won the two next general elections and slowly moved from the control of the formal government to the control of the real State/government.

Two key public episodes of the clash between the Turkish formal government and the Turkish Armed Forces have been the 2008 prosecution against the clandestine group called Ergenekon and the 22 February 2010 prosecution against the so-called Sledgehammer plot. These prosecutions were strikes against military milieus. By them, the formal government affirmed his supremacy relatively to the Kemalist Armed Forces.

Clearly this intra-State fight is variously going on despite the determination and successes of theJustice and Development Partyin affirming its civilian rule, its democratic rule, relatively to the State/government structures, Armed Forces included.

Intra-State destabilizations may be used both from government and from powerful forces opposing it. They may go from the so-called stabilizing destabilization (eventually used from real government for affirming the power’s monopoly of a certain party or group) to real destabilization (used from powerful forces wishing to sink or reverse an unwished course). For them, a variety of tools are used, from terrorism and massacres to a variety of incidents for discrediting and weakening the target of such operations.

The current Taksim Gezi Park’s crisis is not an initiative of the Turkish government (although it be using it for reaffirming its democratic power against those wishing weakening it), but of Turkish Armed Forces milieus opposing it. It follows a classic pattern.

The pretext: the Beyoğlu Municipality decided to rebuild the Taksim Military Barracks, to be actually used as a shopping centre, sode factoliquidating the Taksim Gezi Park’s small green island inside Istanbul.

The spark: on 27 May 2013, about fifty environmentalists occupied the park; on 27 May, they were brutally evicted from police 

Everything could stop here. On the contrary, the apparently most different components joined the initially environmentalist protest for using it as a direct attack against theJustice and Development Party’s power and government, with national and worldwide media cover.

Leftists and rightists, as well as whatever other political and non-political group or association, are easily manipulable from whatever power source. Now, here, they are used against the ruling party and power.

The initial environmentalist action may have been a genuine concern, or it may have been induced from some power’s centre. A small park inside a crowded and busy city as Instanbul is not a decisive environmentalist question. Of course, it is not a great principle question to create an addition Shopping Centre in Istanbul although, wherever in the world, public works are connected with bribes for ruling parties, as well as, not infrequently, for opposition ones too. So, when decided to launch public works, it becomes difficult or nearly impossible to reverse a previous decision.   

Also the brutal repression of a peaceful environmentalist action may have been intentional for sparking a wide reaction. About fifty environmentalists could be peacefully removed from the area they were occupying. Someone ordered a violent assault.

What is surely not casual is the growing movement around this idiotic and criminal police brutality. The media cover has given resonance and identity to the protesters, and radicalized their actions which can be now used for further violence even when the Taksim Gezi Park’s crisis will be in some way solved.

Without some power source promotion and support, there are not mass movements either ‘revolutions’, contrarily to what common people think. 

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Atualizado em: Ter 18 Jun 2013

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