'Old foe, new friend' partners of the anti-Erdoğan coalition - MERVE ŞEBNEM ORUÇ

'Old foe, new friend' partners of the anti-Erdoğan coalition

We started seeing the first signs of strange alliances during the Gezi incidents. The cooperation of the neo-nationalists with the Turkish left was no surprise for those who know the recent history of Turkey, yet it was interesting to see some liberals join the same camp. They weren't the only ones; they hadn't taken their heads out from the sand as much as they had during the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 coup attempts and the prep school argument prior to it, but the support of prominent Gülenist figures for the Gezi incidents was not missed by careful eyes, making most of us think "there's something fishy going on here." I remember I had shared a post on social media along the lines of "They were on the same side as those who would say 'He who touches [with] the Imam's Army will burn,' " which caused havoc. This description of alliance, which was considered quite exaggerated back then, would shortly materialize before our very eyes. We witnessed so many absurd alliances in the anti-Recep Tayyip Erdoğan camp ranging from the Gülen Movement-Republican People's Party (CHP) alliance during the local and presidential elections to the leftist Turkish daily Cumhuriyet's structure, from publications like the Karşı newspaper established to spread the wiretapped recordings in that period to Gülen and Doğan media outlets singing the same tune, that Istanbul capital's support of the Gezi incidents as though it was a derivative of "Occupy Wall Street" was nothing.

One of the photographs romanticized during the Gezi incidents was of a girl carrying a Turkish flag featuring the picture of Mustafa Kemal wearing a kalpak hat, hand-in-hand with a man carrying the party flag of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). This photo was used to sell to Turkey and the world, the subliminal message that "Erdoğan is such a tyrant that he even brought us together." This was a fairytalesque and romantic message: It was a piece of cake to feed it to foreigners and the young generation new to politics. However, the claim was one that those who realized the Gezi incident was more than just a protest to protect the trees and green zone would never buy. Hadn't we last seen those flags with the kalpak-wearing Mustafa Kemal at the Wisemen Committee Meetings started to support the reconciliation process? Wasn't Erdoğan declared "traitor" for initiating the reconciliation process? Wasn't it the possibility of peace that caused the re-accumulation of Erdoğan hate in the neo-nationalist wing? Wasn't the same hatred apparent in the Kurdish side in the separatist wing of the PKK only? While the fundamental reason of the anger of opposite poles was within opposition itself, the one who took a risk and said "peace" instead of "war" became the common target. And for those who keep in mind the reality, this picture was not as simple as that which is portrayed in the photograph.

We witnessed so many other strange, absurd alliances and partnerships during the last two years... Without a doubt, secular republicans and their newspapers leaning toward Iran, despite accusing Erdoğan for years of turning Turkey into Iran, was the most fantastic of them all. For Eren Erdem, the editor-in-chief of the wiretapper Karşı daily, which was founded with the Gülen Movement's careful selection of figures who appeared to be from the left-wing, being a deputy of the CHP was one of the most striking examples of this. One of Eren Erdem's old tweets recently roaming in social media sites is, without a doubt, one of the concrete examples of this alliance, of which we previously saw the signals in various forms. A man who said, "If Iran and Turkey have a falling out, I will take Iran's side against Turkey! If Iran falls, the entire East will fall!" In November 2011, a man who holds another country above his own is currently a CHP deputy. What could be an even stranger union? But we are no longer surprised, it happens.

I'm not even talking about the place of the Gülenists, who have been pure enemies of Iran for years, in this alliance. When the civil chaos in Syria started to rear its ugly head, it was obvious that the Gülen-affiliated media outlets would be more royalist than the king, when decorating the news and articles on their pages with the message "NATO should intervene in Syria" upon every angry announcement from the U.S. wing. It was obvious what would happen the day the U.S. changed its Syria policy when they turned around 180 degrees and almost became Assad supporters. Perhaps the most striking alliance of Gülenists beyond that with leftists, neo-nationalists and pro-Iranians is the one with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

When the Gülenists, who we knew for their opposition to the reconciliation process and Kurds, made an alliance with the HDP during the general election process, nobody was surprised. We have witnessed such absurd, such unbelievable, and such impossible partnerships that we probably lost our shock reflexes.

We don't even bat an eye when, as a result of these impossible partnerships, Duran Kalkan winks at its 40-year- long enemy, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and says, "The military should not allow the AK Party to use it," and the HDP ignores everybody and deliberately focuses all the hostility on Erdoğan. Do you not also see, as a result of signing the agreement for the mutual fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after the 10-month long U.S.-Turkey negotiations, the decrease in the anti-ISILdiscourse of PKK/HDP circles? Do you not also question, "Wasn't Ankara supporting ISIL? Wasn't this the entire matter since Kobani, what happened to make you forget?” Once the technical operations at İncirlik are complete and Turkey is actively at war against ISIL, there will be nothing left of these Ankara-ISIL cooperation lies, as they will be replaced by anti-Erdoğanism, for which you don't even remember the reason, in fact with "anti-war" discourses.

After the ISIL video broadcast on Monday by ISIL, calling Turkey to revolt against "satan" Erdoğan, I wonder if one day we will see those anti-Erdoğan groups, accusing Erdoğan of supporting ISIL until today, support ISIL? So you think it's impossible? We shouldn't speak so certain after seeing such impossible cooperations. Both the PKK and ISIL are calling on the people to oust Erdoğan. The Revolutionist People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) is also doing the same, as is the Gülen Movement... From the Assad fan to the Sisi supporter, from the Iranian agent to Israel or American volunteers, they all have the same objective, the same demand... This is not a new mutual aim for ISIL; they have been calling Erdoğan "sahve" and apostate through their social media accounts; this was simply an official announcement. Everything from ISIL appearing during the parallel period with the start of the reconciliation process to it taking place in the world agenda along with Kobani, and the PKK, during the same period, being turned into a hero, and Erdoğan being accused during the same period by two terrorist organizations of starting to support the other, is so clear, it is so obvious that this process is the continuation of the anti-Erdoğan mobilization that started in 2013, that probably the real one to blame today is the one who insists on not seeing what is crystal clear...


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