Is Democracy possible in a country where journalists write op-eds in NYT to support the army?

Take the case of Aslı Aydıntaşbaş of Milliyet who had written an op-ed in NYT in defending Turkish military. She represents a more moderate secular breed of journalists who gave up in the end and began openly attacking a case that thrashes military tutelage in the country. She is yet another one to shed crocodile tears for the military. As if soldiers, the armed bullies, ever need civilians’ help. I have had my own substantive concerns about the Ergenekon Case. But there is no need to make oneself a military lover.

Take this (emphases mine):

But somehow I find myself with the larger Turkish public nervously wringing my hands, a mere bystander in what seems to be a power struggle between the military and what the Economist calls ?a rising class of overtly pious Anatolians symbolized by the A.K. government.?

Who is the larger Turkish public? Is that public comfortable with military’s hardcore secularist policies? Was that larger public had any problems with Abdullah Gül becoming president? Does that public really likes the armed men or mostly scared?

In some of these cases ? most notably a related case known as Ergenekon, in which about 200 people are already in detention ? fact and fiction seem to have blended in such a way that opposition journalists, former generals and organized crime leaders find themselves in the same jail for months for membership in an organization whose existence they were unaware of.

Don’t we know from the Susurluk case, that many secularist journalists had so eagerly followed, these dirty alliances are always there?

Problems in due process are exacerbated by the widespread use of wiretaps by law enforcement officials. Some 119,000 people ? including journalists, generals and judges ? have been had their phones tapped over the past three years. Recordings of private conversations sometimes end up on the Web.

So when the military chief of staff, Gen. Ilker Basbug, complains about an ?asymmetrical psychological war on the army,? many Turks are sympathetic. (Soon after he said that, a secret recording of his conversation with a group of officers appeared on a pro-government newspaper Web site.)

Don?t get me wrong. Turks are sensible people. We do not want the military meddling in politics, even to fend off Islamic radicalism, thank you. We can do that ourselves at the ballot if necessary.

But we also do not like politicians messing with the nation?s most revered institution. The arrests and wiretaps have certainly tarnished the military?s image as an invincible constant in politics. But the army continues to be by far the most ?trusted? institution for Turks, most of whom grow up with the motto ?Every Turk is a soldier.?

Ergenekon case sceptics do not talk about the content of these leaked recordings. Only in rare cases there are really private conversations. In most, there are criminal connections.
And oh my! Turks are sensible? “Turks” are flattered, which always works (!) and then the gist of the matter comes front: Politicians messing with “the most revered institution” and more praise for the army. This is pure nationalist propaganda that is inculcated beginning in primary school and goes forward and now you see it is re-uttered by a journalist/columnist of a mainstream daily. That’s basically the sum of an era in Turkish press. That not much can be expected in terms of democratic struggles….

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