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You probably don’t know Sedat Peker, our now-famous mafia youtuber much better known in Turkey.
He recently began settling accounts with some that are even more corrupt than he is, whose rise he had facilitated and who seem to be less generous with him now than they once were.
These settlings of accounts via social networks and media are causing much concern in our bigoted Turkey.
As long as the gentleman was promising “rivers of blood” against opponents, nobody saw anything worth mentioning, and everyone let him take advantage of both the principal and the interest, even calling on him for a hand here and there for little jobs, or to facilitate a few convoys of weapons for the bearded ones over in Syria. As long as the “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” went swimmingly in the purest of of olive oil and that the money, the girls and the cars were there to provide improvements to the lives of some, both in the AKP and the mafias, no one had anything to complain about.
So what has happened to throw a monkey wrench into the motor?
Prior to 2016, Turkey knew another period of “revelations”. It involved the difference of opinion over the sharing of the corruption and the powers with the Gülen sect, infiltrated into every arm of the State, the army, justice and religious schooling among others, and which almost imperiled Reis Erdoğan’s domination. Firing of judges and confiscations then followed in retribution over the divulging of phone recordings, and all of Turkey was making fun of Bilal, Erdoğan’s young son asking daddy, during a recorded conversation, what he should do with the money set aside. The failed coup in July 2016 set everything in order, and the new ally became preferably rather wolf-like and ultra-greyish, more often then not also mafia-related, for occult services 1.
Let’s take a slight detour concerning Sedat Peker’s current bête noire, Süleyman Soylu, whose current job description is Minister of the Interior. In his fifties, a member of the AKP since 2012, he earned his stars in the governments preceding 2016. He was a buddy of the mafioso youtuber to whom he provided security and comfort services. He was promoted Minister of the Interior following the failed coup d’état and became the executioner of the purges.
He is the man who orchestrates the fight against the HDP, the arrests, the nomination of administrators replacing elected Kurdish mayors, the hit job against the opposition, even threatening the now oh-so-docile new CHP mayor of Istanbul. To add a final touch to the portrait, he is an averred homophobe. His clashes with Erdoğan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, the Finance Minister who resigned, are public knowledge.
And here we are again in a new season of revelations, with public quarrels between former best buddies.
It must be said that the stables are being placed in marching order for the presidential elections, albeit still distant, and that the compromised power hitch-up, between Islamist bigots, ultra-right Kemalists and Liberal Ottomaniacs is sufficiently weighed down by contradictions for them to break out publicly.
Up till now, the regime had kept a sufficient number of wars ongoing on the borders, along with internal ones against the Kurdish movement, spiced with polemics against all opponents, to avoid finding itself in solitary confrontation with economic difficulties swept under the carpets. But it looks like, along with the pandemic, it is also open season on sales.
You will find on Kedistan a few samples of recent public statements made by mafioso Sedat Peker, among the crispier-crunchier ones in this article from Duvar. I won’t return to them.
To get an idea of the seriousness of the disaster, you must add to it the words of a religious dignitary, more profoundly bigotted and less of a Kemalist than even Erdoğan, words he spoke in front of the Reis, denouncing “the cruelty and harshness of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s regime”, our very own Atatürk fetish.The front of agreements is coming apart at the seams, and the AKP has to start repairing the cracks…and dealing with its goons.
We now await the appearance into the joust of the Jihadists the regime has been coddling for over five years. External promises having lost some of their luster with the change of president in the United States, plus the need to maintain the status quo with the European Union – given its promise of a hand-out concerning migrants – a gift that would come in handy to cover some of the losses, the Russian ally proving grumpy, all this is worrisome for the political and militaro-religious mercenaries doing all the dirty work in Syria, in Afrin and elsewhere.
And we can always have a good laugh and slap our thighs in delight while listening to the mafioso’s revelations, still, a glimpse into the sausage factory is not a pretty sight, and the future is filled with uncertainties.
Nor are those in power managing to reach a consensus concerning the liquidation of the Kurdish representation either. They thought the Kobanê trial would suffice to set off the killing of the HDP, butthe CHP who knows it needs Kurdish voices, will not follow as it did in 2016, even if its nationalist base encourages it to show more firmness.
Are Erdoğan, the AKP and the MHP ready to engage anew in some “tension” somewhere, as they have attempted with no apparent success in the Kurdish regions in Irak?
Turkish civilian society is tired, and getting it to respond to military tunes over and over again is not a sure thing.
The fact that here and there, populations are reacting, tired of seeing their life environment destroyed for immediate profits to firms they did not even know existed until the equipment showed up to raze and destroy, or the plastic garbage strewn across the scenery, the ‘snot’ covering areas of the sea, the fact Erdoğan withdrew his signature from the Istanbul convention as a concession to the bigots, and thus even set the women into the streets, along with the LGBTIQ+ and the human rights associations, all this amounts to a number of small fires in need of extinguishing, along with the bigger one waiting to break out.
Ah! A good old coup d’état? Erdoğan attempted to have us believe that this was at risk when he scolded the old military figures, even more ultra than he is, and who were critical of his “weakness” in the Mediterranean in the face of Greece and the EU.
The astonishing thing is that Sedat Peker’s logorrhea can stream on without microphones and cameras being shut off in Turkey? Is this in order to justify what will come next? Is this a preparation for a new demonstration of the Reis rising before our eyes like the Messiah?
This seasonal sale has been so fascinating, it made me set aside Netflix for a while.
Illustration: Found on Twitter
Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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