If we were to summarize in a sentence the latest events in Turkey, the phrase above would capture in its entirety the essence of what is happening. When a specific segment of the 12 years of AK Party governance is considered, words such as polarization and conflict may come to mind. For example, when considered by a certain sector, the Dec. 17 operation can be viewed solely as a corruption probe. As a result, the changes within the judiciary, Turkish National Police and other state institutions coupled with the legal changes concerning the high judiciary and Internet, could be perceived as shocking.
However, those who view Turkey seriously and have in-depth knowledge, including our Western friends, are aware that these events must be evaluated within the appropriate context. No government would enter into such a big conflict for the sake of foreshadowing corruption allegations.
Had the government not felt a serious threat from the Dec. 17 events and had it only been a matter of an operation concerning some AK Party cabinet ministers and their immediate circles, even then, the March 30 elections would have resulted in a victory. There would have been no need for the government to engage in such a corrosive fight.
Dec. 17 was an operation undertaken by an autonomous structure within the judiciary and police force in order to topple Erdoğan. Through alternative media, the Dec. 17 operation targeted Erdoğan and his family along with businessmen involved in the country's largest projects.
However, since this autonomous structure could not find an appropriate judge, the plan could not be carried out. The judge found the evidence in the dossiers to be lacking and beyond belief. Thus, Dec. 17 was a matter of just three dossiers.
Had this operation been successful, then what would have transpired? Members of Erdoğan's family, businessmen and supporters of the government would have been taken into custody under trumped up charges and until the formal arrests the government would have virtually collapsed.
The Dec. 17 operation conducted in the early hours of that morning was broadcast in such detail on mainstream media as if the case had already been completed by the courts. By the evening, the public sphere was awash with information.
The government has yet to find out the details required to file an objection, and yet the information in the dossiers was available in the public sphere as though it was a court verdict. Now add to this picture Erdoğan's immediate family members behind bars. In such a situation, would it be possible for a government to continue to govern?
The operation and battle for media control did not stop there. When Erdoğan did not fall from power, the same parallel structure this time carried out an operation on The parallel structure used a fabricated investigation into a non-existent terror cell called the Selam Organization in an attempt to target Erdoğan and supporters of the government.
Faced with this secretive network, the government's options were limited.
Through the drafting and passing of laws, the government tried to take precautions.
Bureaucrats were reassigned to new posts.
Erdoğan explained the situation to the public and came out victorious at the elections.
It is advisable that Western friends add this side of the coin to their analysis. Just as EU and U.S. perceptions of Turkey are important, perceptions of the EU and the U.S. need to be protected in Turkey. This is an absolutely necessary element for healthy relationships.
Turkey is a country still building its democracy. In this respect, it is normalizing.
I think that a wide segment of society not yet tainted by anti-Erdoğan sentiment simply wants this to be respected and not criticized.