Respect to privacy-No more Big Brother!


Just 10 days before the long-awaited local elections in Turkey, political tensions have risen to previously unseen levels. The discourse used between rival political leaders is not new. The mass media is also exacerbating stresses in society. Still this is not unheard of in a country where the political debate is based on enmity rather than competition.

What is new and very scary is the fact that a so-called "movement," namely the Gülen confraternity, has been illegally tapping, recording and archiving an incredible number of people's telephones, starting from the prime minister himself, but encompassing virtually the totality of the political, administrative, journalistic and intellectual circle.

Not one day passes by without a "scandalous" conversation being leaked through social media, covering intimate conversations among members of the inner circle of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

A large number of very intimate conversations, sometimes in their entirety, most of the time in very small segments and of very dubious authenticity, are leaked to social media, and are subsequently relayed by conventional mass media supporting opposition parties.

Anything that might give off the idea of embezzlement is carefully cast off, augmented with extremely aggressive and criminal comments, and finally served to social media. The fact is that a small number of these conversations have been acknowledged by the prime minister himself, showing that the tapping of conversations is a reality.

Even in his science fiction classic "1984," George Orwell did not foresee such complete control over the communications of people or such a great degree of sophistication in falsification and fabrication.

Any cozy or intimate conversation among a journalist and a member of the government can be falsified and built up to a deep black propaganda strategy, denouncing their so called "anti-Islamic" jokes.

How such an organization can infiltrate the telecommunication sector, the state authorities and the security forces of a democratic and pluralist country remains a very deep mystery to be solved. Nobody's private life or private data is safe and the opposition parties are climbing on the bandwagon, almost legitimizing this horrid operation.

It would definitely be untrue to speak about any democratic functioning unless the organizers of such a wide and illegal web of tapping are disclosed and brought before the justice. More than ever, Turkey needs clarity and objective information about a huge and horrendous operation that is targeting the prime minister. The objective of such a criminal organization can be the premier today but nobody knows who will be their next target or their next victims, should they be allowed to succeed in this crime.

The upcoming local elections have turned into a vote of confidence for Erdoğan and his policies. There is almost no doubt that he will win elections again with a comfortable majority, but the question is not there. The main challenge for all of us, believing in a democratic Turkey, is to disclose, to dismantle and bring to justice all the perpetrators of the biggest nonmilitary coup d'etat ever prepared in Turkish political history. Whether the ruling AK Party performs better or worse than usual will not help us understand how such an incredible criminal operation came to be.

We need to overhaul our system, all our administrations and all our understandings if we are to leave to the next generations a Turkey of participative democracy, not a regime made up of blackmailing and threats by an unknown and faceless organization.

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