Violating the rules of social order and ignoring the common references that hold society together might put the authorities in a tight spot. The murder of the prosecutor points to such an alliance of nihilism
The repercussions of the murder that was committed last week at the Istanbul Çağlayan Courthouse are continuing. The discussions that followed the acts committed by an extremist and radical far-left terror organization, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), whose members easily carried weapons into the courthouse and took a prosecutor hostage still dominate the agenda.Meanwhile, Turkey has entered a sensitive period because of the upcoming general elections. Relations between the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the opposition are tense, since the AK Party is likely to win the elections for a fourth time and the opposition is fighting against this possibility with all its might. This tension between the AK Party and the opposition causes such ideologically motivated murders to grab more attention and creates an overall sense of pessimism and a psychology of chaos. This atmosphere might turn into a golden opportunity for terror organizations to flourish, recruit members and set the agenda by causing a stir in the country. Another issue is that such terror organizations might take action according to a specific agenda, particularly in this type of atmosphere. In other words, they might not act only with ontological motives, but maybe as those carrying out a specific agenda.
As an organization that was established in the mid-1990s, the DHKP-C's main objective is to incite a revolution in accordance with its Marxist-Leninist viewpoint. It simultaneously uses the methods of political and armed struggle for this anachronistic purpose. Generally, it is nourished by the poorest social segments in socio-economic terms, where the anger caused by a minority psychology appears in its most radical form. It is not surprising that such structures have a nihilistic attitude, since anachronism nourishes nihilism.
These groups, however, cannot exert control over the country's agenda on their own. It is seen that intellectuals, media professionals and illustrators who have nihilistic mentalities and belong to the most influential socio-economic segments of society, as well as the actors who strive for political opposition without producing positive projects, have come to look for help from these groups in recent years. For several years, there has been an alliance that can be described as a behemoth in Turkish political life. In other words, there is undeniably a loose synergy that is mainly based on eliminating a target to save the day. This synergy does not have a common vision, common concerns for the future, common political projects or a common ideology. This alliance, which develops from an anti-AK Party mentality, works in order to overthrow the AK Party or to make it incapable of governing the country, irrespective of the consequences or costs. A discourse is concocted accordingly, while concepts and definitions are reproduced.
When such a nihilistic approach dominates the most privileged social segments of society that have the power to influence national public opinion, it is not surprising that these organizations, which are determined to use suicide bombers and target the AK Party and civil peace, receive sympathy from such segments, no matter how irrational they are.
After all, Turkey also has poets who praise Armenian Komitas that attempted to assassinate its own sultan. This is why describing terrorists as "activists" and their murders as an "attempting to seek justice" is understandable in the eyes of such segments of society. A normal reasoning shows that such attitudes can only lead to disastrous consequences. Violating the rules of social order and ignoring the common references that hold society together might put the authorities in a tight spot. The murder of the prosecutor points to such an alliance of nihilism. However, any country or rational state structure will not allow it to succeed.
About the author
Osman Can is a Law Professor and Reporting Judge at the Turkish Constitutional Court. He holds a PhD from the University of Cologne, Germany.