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Tulu Gümüştekin

NEW TACTICS TO DISCREDIT TURKEY AND HER PRIME MINISTER

Tulu Gümüştekin 09 April 2014, Wednesday
A lively election campaign has ended.

Local elections have brought victory to the prime minister and his AK Party, despite expectations created by the "pirate opposition" in domestic public opinion, as well as abroad. Well-structured media coverage of the so-called bias of the Turkish prime minister was carefully served to the Turkish public, through fabricated taped conversations leaked to the social media, meticulously relayed by the opposition parties and media.

The results of the elections have been a surprise for only those who really believed in the fact that the prime minister was cut off from the reality of the electorate and his country. The contrary was blatantly demonstrated at the ballot box. However, the pirate opposition is not at all ready to surrender and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has great difficulty in assessing the results of the elections and self-criticism because of the electoral failure.

The problem is that in Turkey, only the visible part of the real opposition is visible.

Gülen Movement supporters can hardly be seen as political actors, so long as they do not belong to any official political organization, any registered political party or association.

There is a nebulous entity that does not have a name, an institutional face or a program. Still, this movement is able to coordinate and affect the developments of a whole election campaign. Now that the campaign is over and it is visible that they have lost, there is no way for the average Turkish citizen to ask for accountability or expect any transparency.

It is up to the official opposition parties to decide whether or not they are going to abide by the fabricated agenda the pirate opposition dexterously prepared and leaked into social media. The official opposition parties, apart from the Gülen movement, have to participate in elections and be held accountable to their electorate basis afterwards.

A recent surprise came with the striking article written by Seymour Hersh, the famous investigative reporter who broke the My Lai story and reported on Watergate before Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein picked up the trail, where he tries to demonstrate that last August chemical attack that took place in Syria was the deed of insurgents rather than the Assad regime forces.

The article, long and detailed, does however contain very important biases, and indicates that the Turkish prime minister was aware of the gas attack by the insurgents and tacitly supported it, in order to push the Obama administration to intervene militarily in Syria.

Very strong condemnations immediately were released by the White House. The article itself has not been published by The New York Times or The Washington Post, as Hersh wanted it, but by a blog in the London Review of Books, showing that journalistically speaking, the article was not convincing enough.

In fact, a detailed and very critical article has been released by Scott Lucas in EA Worldview, dismantling virtually the entirety of Hersh's scenario. Opposition parties in Turkey, except conventional written questions to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, did not follow Hersh's path to attack and defame Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

However, journalists and writers close to opposition circles have taken this opportunity to take Hersh's allegations as spot cash and vilify the premier. It will definitely take some part of the Turkish intelligentsia more time and more electoral defeats before coming back to their objectivity and senses. As for the Gülen Movement, they will have really hard time figuring out how to discredit Turkey and her prime minister.
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