Why are There so many Terrorists in Turkey?

If you are interested in Turkey or Turkish politics, you might have seen that we have tons of terrorists – including, I believe, even me. But why do we have so many terrorists? Is it normal for a country to have that much terrorists?

Well, of course it is not normal to have a lot of terrorists in a country. The problem is found in Turkish anti-terror law, 3713, article 2. This article reads as follows1:

Those Experts on Turkey…

The more I read analyses about and on Turkey, the more I am convinced that either a) looking from Europe and/or the US, Turkey seems totally different than what it is, or b) those experts and analysts in Europe and/or the US have absolutely no knowledge on at least one of the following: Turkey, political science, sociology, Islam.

The last opinion I read (five minutes ago) is written by Kersten Knipp at DW, and it was no less stupid than the previous ones. Here I want to go over his article, and say a couple of things. The bold parts are from his article, and below are my responses to these parts.

Was Erdogan’s Seizure of Power Legal?

Carl Schmitt’s Question of Legality starts with a tempting question: why did the German civil service follow Hitler (2001, p. 56)? His answer, which is as short and as tempting, is simple: “because in the eyes of the German civil service, Hitler’s seizure of power was not illegal”. Continuing, he wrote that

“Nor was it so for the large majority of the German people, and equally so for the foreign governments which continued to maintain their diplomatic relations without considering it necessary to proceed to a new recognition, according to international law, which would have been necessary in a case of illegality. Likewise, there was no German government in opposition to Hitler” (p. 57).

From the legal standpoint, Schmitt’s argument is well-defensible. It should be noted that the question does not allow discussing the legitimacy of Hitler’s acts, as it does not allow discussing later events.

Seventy years after Hitler, another person with similar traits seized power — this time in Turkey: Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Keeping the question untouched, can we say the same about Erdogan as Schmitt did about Hitler?

In this essay, I argue that no, we cannot say that Erdogan’s seizure of power was legal but it was forced to be legal by two frauds — which caused illegality.

A Reaction against Illegal and Illegitimate Turkish Government?

On April 16, Turkey held a referendum. Probably the first of its kind, the voters did not receive any questions. As well as approving Sultanate of Tayyip, they could have voted for a more effective global warming or to make America great again. One reaction to this referendum is priceless.

On May 29, Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe published the observation report regarding the referendum. 58 articles long, even if not detailed enough, this report covered issues from Turkish election system to referendum day and, overall, could have been a good report if it was not concluded with one of the most hypocritical conclusions I have ever read.

Turkey from 2007 to 2017: An Introduction

In 2007, Turkey elected its new President, Abdullah Gül. He is presented as “the first Muslim President of Turkey”, which meant all of the following, and all at the same time:

  1. The previous presidents were not Muslim.
  2. They were not Muslims because of the system of the country.
  3. This system will be taken down.
  4. The identity of Republic of Turkey will change.
  5. With the new president, Turkey will evolve.
  6. This evolution change will be towards Islamism.
  7. Turkey will not be what it has been so far.

In less than a year, after managing to hold both Presidential and PM offices, the party invented a term, New Turkey (Yeni Türkiye). According to them, in the old Turkey so many bad things happened because of the system and the bad people who were responsible of the system. But this New Turkey was different. It was not the continuation of the old one. It was revolutionary.

Further and Possibly Larger Scale Suppression of the Opposition in Turkey

On the anniversary of the so-called coup attempt and newly invented “day of democracy and national unity“, so-called Turkish President Erdogan said “we lost 250 heroes in the night of 15 July [coup attempt], but saved the future of 50 million Turks“. According to Turkstat, population of Turkey in 2016 was 79.814.871, excluding Syrian refugees and immigrants who are to be given citizenship as long as 5 years have passed since their entry to Turkey, regardless of any other criteria.

Erdogan is famous with making strange comments and arguments. Generally, next day these are followed with corrections by the members of the cabinet or the party. They do not argue that Erdogan was wrong, but we, opponents of him, got him wrong. Yet this time there still is no correction, which makes us believe that we are discarded, or sacrificed, already.

Whenever we the opposition ask for rights, we are constantly warned that we aim to break a civil war up, and we should stop being the puppets or puppies of external powers. Turkey and Turkish society, for a long time, has been divided into two camps: those that want the good of the country and the people (i.e. supporters of Erdogan), and the others (i.e. opponents of him).

Terrorist Human Rights Defenders

On June 5th12 human rights workers were detained while they were “holding a secret meeting” in Buyukada, Istanbul, which includes Amnesty International’s Turkey director Idil Eser. Many individuals and organizations asked for their release, yet as of June 13, they still are under detention. According to T24, a Turkish news website, the detainees were accused of terrorism.

This, apparently, is news for many outsiders. But for us, opponents of the current Turkish government who are politically active, there is no news here. I want to show you two legal bases and the basic approach in the state, on how these people are kept under detention, and highly likely they will remain there at least for some months, if not years.

Forthcoming Turkish Civil War

In March 2016, I wrote that things are not going well in Turkey, and will eventually become worse. It will be to the extent that it will be Turkish migrants, as it was Syrians, that were trying to flee to Europe to make sure of their lives.

The agenda I had in mind back then was like this: there was a proposed change of constitution. It would, I thought, take two years to finish and be ratified at the parliament or referendum. Because the constitutional change was aimed to make Erdogan more powerful than Ottoman sultans, this would be an unpleasant process. Meanwhile, through the end of the process, I expected a civil war to start, and the country to be torn apart.

Past 10 months have proven me wrong. Things became even crazier than I expected. In 20 months, 25 bombs exploded and terrorist attacks were held. There is an economic crisis which, at least in the forthcoming year, will not see any measures taken against. The groups in society are even more separated and alienated from each other due to a number of reasons. There was a so-called unsuccessful coup attempt, which resulted with measures and acts that even I, someone who thinks that knows, more or less, what these guys can do, did not expect. In the so-called fight against an Islamist group, I have seen leftist and anarchist people being kicked out of civil service.

Five Immediate Problems of Turkey

Erdogan, at an interview with Amanpour from CNN, said that Turkey has everything investors look for in a country, because it is a strong and stable country. On the other hand, the situation in Turkey apparently is dire and there are five immediate problems that need to be solved in the short, not even medium, run, which can even lead to the end of Turkey. Because I do not consider any of them less important or urgent than another, please keep in mind that the order below is not according to those.

Two Remarks on the Turkey-EU Deal on the Migrant Crisis (Longer Version)

(Here you can find the shorter and published version of the article below. This one is the longer and somehow a bit more detailed and emotional version of it. I should thank once more, though, to the editors of Diplomatic Courier for fixing the text.)


“The EU and Turkey have reached a deal on the migrant crisis, which will see migrants returned to Turkey in exchange for aid and political concessions”1. There are two practically important points of this deal:

  • The EU does not need to deal with new and uncontrolled immigrants after the deal. In other words, in exchange of an “acceptable” migrant for the EU, Turkey will take back all the migrants, regardless of the nationality. The EU will pay 3bn € to Turkey for this, which, I guess, is highly beneficial for them not only in the long but also in the short term.
  • If 72 benchmarks will be met, Turkey will be provided a short-term visa liberation2.

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