For years after the creation of the modern Republic of Turkey, politics remained an ineffective actor.
Elected governments governed only on paper. Real power lay in the hands of the military, the judiciary and the deep state coalition created by the Republican People's Party (CHP), which initially steered the singleparty state and has not been elected into government since switching to a multiparty system.
Therefore, governments in Turkey for many years were not able to give weight to public works. Higher judicial bodies and other guardian entities would thwart steps towards structural reforms and attempts to apply them. Every so often, about once every 10 years, a coup d'état would be staged and the military would intervene.
Of course, one cannot deny that the military was required to act as a legitimate guardian of the regime. This duty, as Louis Althusser describes, belonged to the "state's ideological instruments." The key ideological instruments of the military guardian regime were academies and central media. Undoubtedly, the guardian regime drew financial support from Istanbul's monopoly market and cultural industry, already controlled by the elites.
Until the beginning of the 2000s, it was in this context that Turkey's civil politics was controlled by this powerful, organized and anti-democratic format.
The reason why Turkey's transition to civil democracy has been so painful since the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came into government in 2002 is due to this very background. In the past 12 years, Turkey has separated civil politics from the state and garnered support from the public.
The civil democratic revolution by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party (AK Party) has led the old vanguard of Turkey to panic. The financial and emotional support for the guardian regime by the deep state has come to an end.
And so, academics and journalists who travel to Europe and America, providing a skewed view of the democratic process in Turkey, are part of the guardian coalition. They are experts in knowing how to wear any kind of mask. They present themselves are representations of segments of society with which they have no organic ties. They market themselves as Turkey's liberals, freedom loving leftists or a wing of the religious or of the Kurds.
For instance, while Prime Minister Erdoğan has taken steps to institutionalize secularism, on the international stage these academics or journalists will claim that secularism in Turkey is in danger. Yet they utilize the international networks setup by Imam Fehtullah Gülen, whose movement is the threat to Turkey's secularism.
Within Turkey, they are attempting to sabotage the effort of Prime Minister Erdoğan's Kurdish peace process, which has cost the country 50,000 lives.
They portray a message to the propeace separatist Kurdish movement or the PKK of one that encourages a continuation of the war. Nationalists provocatively are claiming that Erdoğan is compromising too much with the Kurds.
On international panels Erdoğan is portrayed as a leader that is "anti-peace, anti-Kurds and extreme nationalist" by freedom-loving civil society members.
If European and U.S. NGOs, journalists and politicians are not scared of coming face to face with the truth, they should serious reconsider their sources of information on Turkey. They should at least include liberal democrat voices that give importance to Turkey's integration with the modern world.
The last thing these masked guardian intelligentsia members want is for Turkey to return to its antidemocratic days and become isolated from the modern world.