Who Said Military Tutelage is Over in Turkey?

Article Summary
Turkey continues to act condescendingly toward its citizens, writes Mehmet Tezkan. The Turkish people demand answers about the Uludere Massacre, as well as the downing of a jet near Syria, but the government response evokes the opaque tactics of the former Soviet Union.

“Like old Russia.” What does that mean? It means a state that does not care about its people. It means a state that does not bother informing its citizens properly; a condescending state that hides everything from its people. It means a non-transparent state.

There is not much else to say when you look at what is going on around us. The state, never mind properly informing its subjects, gets angry with those who ask questions. It reprimands them. Those who ask what happened are accused of compromising national interests. What is the next step? North Korea.

Look at how our chief of general staff is behaving. This is the same attitude that was used regarding the Uludere massacre. Perplexing, ambiguous remarks and comments that are similar to “why should we give an account?” or “it is none of your business.”

And if you ask what is going on, that is against national interests.

Just like in old Russia... no matter what happens, the state comes first.

It has been six- and a half months since the Uludere massacre, and have you heard our military give a proper account of what happened yet? Let’s say that the citizens are not worthy of an explanation, but not even parliament is worthy? Their responses to parliamentary questions sounded as though they were making fun of them.

Who gave the order to bomb the villagers? No reply. Did the plane crash or was it shot down? No reply, just verbiage.

We were told that the era of military tutelage was over in this country. Actually, we are living through the best version of it, a form of military tutelage backed by the state. The military does not tell the truth and it is not held accountable for anything, just as in the September 12 military-coup era.

Should we ask the US to find the truth? But then if we do, our foreign minister gets upset. Are you going to believe me or them, he asks. We want to believe the minister but what he tells us is not the correct version.

The state keeps on contradicting itself. When the pro-government media keeps silent and even joins in the thrashing of those who ask questions, it is much like the USSR.

Second Strongest Military

When it comes to chest-thumping, we have the second largest army in NATO. Our operational capability is indeed very high, as the army has developed incredibly after being involved in low-intensity warfare for 30 years. However, it did cost us plenty, and thus much was invested in guns, planes and technology.

But our massive air force cannot even keep track of its planes, losing one in the sky. That is the harsh reality. If you ask how it crashed, then you are blah blah.

Remember how they didn’t have a clue about what happened to the plane for hours on that first day? They still don’t know if it crashed or if it was shot down. The command, in its latest statement said, “…Syria has claimed to have shot down [the plane]…”

The translation? “Don’t ask me, ask Syria.”

What does this mean? “I don’t know what is going on and I have lost my plane.”

There was a claim that the plane crashed instead of being shot down. We blamed the Syrians for it. Assad felt that it could use that allegation to intimidate his opposition and to boast, “look what I did to Turkey.”

We didn’t take that claim seriously at that time. Now, I am afraid it is going to be the correct one.

I am afraid that the plane’s fuselage will not be recovered from the sea for a long time, thus preventing the truth from being uncovered. Did it crash? Was it shot down? These questions will be left in the air with no response.

Found in: uluder massacre, turkish jet, turkish-syrian relations, recep tayyip erdogan

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