Journalist Clive Goodman's statement in the "phone hacking scandal" case in England came as a great shock to everyone. He stated that Princess Diana had leaked the Royal Phonebook to establish connections in the press amidst her divorce from Prince Charles, which turned her respectable image upside down and granted her the nickname "Diana the Palace Mole."
The wiretapping and espionage scandal in Turkey is, unfortunately, not as smallscale or "magazine-worthy." The point in question is the illegal monitoring of politicians, journalists, businessmen and civil society activists by a religious group that has been using the state's facilities to their own advantage.
According to results from the official investigation by the head of the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB), 509,000 people were wiretapped from 2012-2013, of which only 270,000 are official. Also, any data prior to 2012 have been deleted from the system, which means that there is no way to know who has been speaking to whom about what and with which authorization, at what interval and on what grounds. This reinforces the suspicion that the illegal wiretappings have been going on for even longer than they appear to have been.
Additionally, the fact that the encrypted phones of top government officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül, have been illegally wiretapped, is one of the greatest espionage scandals in world history.
However, the foreign press tends to ignore this truth in their analysis and reporting despite the fact that the Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden cases has shown us how severely espionage activities are penalized in democratic countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. I hope this apathy will cease as the investigation of the espionage activities and suspects makes headway.
If there are structures within the court or the police force that have infiltrated information operations for the benefit of a certain movement, it is not only the right of a legitimate government to put up a struggle, but also its duty. The emergent wiretappings, the timed investigations, the fact that prosecutors prefer certain police officers for the operations, the issuance of arrests warrants at times when certain judges are on duty only enforce the suspicion of a police-court cooperation.
It is also interesting that none of the investigations or wiretappings in question include the Gülen Movement and its circle.
Provided that you do not possess an essentialist or racist attitude towards Turkey, you would have to accept that, like in any other society, people of Turkey perceive corruption to be a serious felony. If so, how come the AK Party is still the leading party in all polls conducted ahead of the March 30 elections? A significant segment of the Turkish public sees the illegal structures that the foreign media persistently chooses to ignore and chooses to support a legitimate government in the struggle against this shady structure. This is a message for those who announce the end of Erdoğan by confusing "analysis" with "wishful thinking."
About the author
Hilal Kaplan is a journalist and columnist. Kaplan is also board member of TRT, the national public broadcaster of Turkey.