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What kind of crime did you commit that you cannot even make a transparency law?

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu held a huge press meeting where he announced an ambitious initiative: a transparency package. This was a bold move that deserved appreciation, during a time where corruption and bribery was at the top of the daily agenda. In the meeting, Davutoğlu seemed pretty decisive, and he said the package was in effect from the moment it was announced. Those who attended the meeting supported the initiative because politicians would have to declare their assets.

However, before the package was even fully announced, this initiative proved to be futile, because the move was effectively blocked by the president. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking to deputies who paid a visit to him at the presidential palace, said, “That was not the right time to do this.” And none of the deputies there dared to ask him when the right time was. Nobody said a thing, but the president clarified the matter by saying, “If you require to fill even the [positions of] chairs of local branches of the party, you will not find anyone to take this [chairman] position.”

At this point, we need to pause for a moment and think. When I heard this statement, I swear I was speechless. I wished the holder of the supreme position in the country, who has carefully reviewed the tweets of millions of people, filed lawsuits against those who posted them and responded to every single allegation against him, would deny it. I wished he would say that it was a lie; if so then I would have believed that the corruption was not so prevalent that even the local chairs and executives would be immune to legal transparency. Unfortunately, nothing was said.

In this case, it is just legitimate to ask the following question: What sort of trouble are you in, given that you think if a transparency law is passed, you'd find nobody to chair the local branch of your party? This means that this intricate web of political entanglements and relations is not sustainable.

A report by the Hürriyet daily last week reveals that Davutoğlu had to bow to the president's warning; and unfortunately, he silently gave up on the bold initiative on transparency. So we have a man standing by alertly for instructions. Nobody knows what this package's fate will be because this entire ruling party is unable to adopt an independent position.

After every challenge, Davutoğlu actually undermines his own image, and unfortunately, his image as a man of ideas is being eroded. Instead of standing firm and decisive, he makes unnecessary moves to get the consent of those he is unable to deal with. He did so again last week. He tried to protect his position and to send a message to someone by making insulting remarks about Fethullah Gülen. Did these insults fit his personality? No, not all, just like other similar moves he made last week.

Could a political party leader who is unable to make a transparency law draft the list of nominees before an election? Could he stop illegal activities? Could he make any remark on illegal practices? Could he say anything against somebody who undermines the impartiality and independence of the Central Bank of Turkey? Could he do anything to stop illegal action by a powerful man who tries to sink a bank by using the state apparatus?

The situation is grave; the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) administration is facing the danger of paying the price for corruption associated with being in power for 12 years. The intricate relationships and cases of corruption at all levels ran into a roadblock. Those who preferred to remain silent despite injustices and those who want to maximize their personal interests and benefits still want to preserve this order. But when the partnership of common interest evolves into an association of criminality, the transparency package is forgotten and shelved.

What we need is purification. We are suffering from a state of corruption; lashing outwards instead of getting rid of the corruption means you are distracting the people. Those who want to ascend by jumping on the backs of other people should know that your efforts are futile and useless; you will be disgraced here and in the afterlife.

Call for political ethics

The people who hold crucial positions in a country have to be polite and tolerant. Unfortunately, we have been observing recently that this fundamental rule is being violated. Those who are supposed to act more responsibly give insults and rely on a discourse of hate. This meaningless and disrespectful approach polarizes the people and undermines confidence in the judicial system. It is unacceptable to see that certain statesmen have made unfortunate remarks about Fethullah Gülen. The remarks were unethical, immoral and illegal. Nobody can answer for this insult. Fethullah Gülen is one of the most important and valuable Islamic scholars and opinion leaders this country has produced. Even if you do not agree with him, you cannot raise unfounded accusations and insult him. Relying on insults to cover up your own faults is not reconcilable with the code of state administration. This would be a colossal sin.

You have no right to make insults whether you are prime minister, president or a parliamentarian. Basing your political method and approach on insults against a scholar who attracts a great deal of attention in the world is just unfortunate. The insults are considered criminal acts in both international and national law. Just as insulting the president, prime minister and deputies is considered a crime under the existing law, they, in turn, cannot insult the people.

This state of impoliteness and rudeness which violates the universal ethical code and principles should be stopped immediately. If they expect a similar reaction from the people they insult, I have to say that they are not unable to do the same in return. However, discussions violating the boundaries of the universal ethical code and principles are useless for everybody.

It appears that there will be more insults of this sort as the time of election approaches. But I would like to note that these insults are not compatible with humane values and Islamic precepts. I call those who would like to remain influential by relying on hateful discourse, insults and enmity to adopt political ethics and morality.


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fgulen.com is the offical source on the renowned Turkish scholar and intellectual Fethullah Gülen.