The New Security Bill - a Fascist Police Takeover?


The parliament in Turkey has witnessed unprecedented scenes; opposition MPs being beaten up by AKP (the ruling Justice and Development Party) MPs and Ministers, one MP being pushed down from the balcony of the assembly hall, falling facedown resulting in broken ribs, right wing ultra nationalist MHP MPs and socialist Kurdish opposition party MPs holding a sit in side by side.  All because of the new  New ‘Internal Security Package’ .  In this piece one of our supporters in Turkey explains what is happening and goes on to look at the broader context, including events in Rojava. 

The recently published Critique of the Draft Law for the New ‘Internal Security Package’  by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) opens with the following statement "The “Draft Law on Changes to be Introduced to the Law on the Duties and Powers of the Police and to A Number of Other Laws and Decree Laws” no.1/995 submitted by the AKP Government on 24 November 2014 to the Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) was approved in previous days by the TBMM Internal Affairs Commission. It is expected to be brought before the TBMM [Turkish Parliament] General Assembly in the coming days."

It was brought before the General Assembly last week and the Assembly witnessed unprecedented scenes; opposition MPs being beaten up by AKP (the ruling Justice and Development Party) MPs and Ministers, one MP being pushed off the balcony of the assembly hall, falling facedown resulting in broken ribs, right wing ultra nationalist MHP MPs and socialist Kurdish opposition party MPs holding a sit in side by side, the list is long and amusing to follow. The melee was in full force amongst the MPs, the Speaker of The Parliament, The Ministers and the furniture and objects of the Assembly Hall as I began writing this article at the early hours of 24th of February. 

The draft which is being literally forced down the throats of the parliament and the people furnishes the police, public prosecutors and the Military Police Force, the Gendarmerie with expanded or unlimited new powers in search and arrest, body search, detention, extension of detention periods, items which would be criminalized or banned in public meetings; surveillance including wire tapping without warrants, use of force and so on. 10 main points of the proposed changes in the draft will also effect a number of existing Laws, which creates a separate alarming legal concern in terms of the Law of Criminal Procedure as well as existing statutes such as  “Law on the Duties and Powers of the Police” and  “Turkish Penal Code”.

Let us leave the legalise here and try to look at what has been happening in Turkey in recent months;

Putting aside the much loved international conspiracy theories, let us also try to look where this is coming from and why this is happening in Turkey. 

The Turkish Government and the AKP, the main Islamist party in power have been very much involved in the "international war on terrorism"  of the USA and International Military Machinery, directly or indirectly but against against Syria's Ba'ahist Regime. Newly elected President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's aspirations were not limited to being elected to the previously symbolic presidency of Turkey prior to the ending of his term as a PM.   He also pushed the Parliament and his party to change to a reformatted constitutional system whereby he would be the sole power running the country (ideally the region) as a Principal President as in the USA.

The road to his goal has not been without obstacles. Internal conspiracies, widespread wiretapping of his and the entire cabinet's personal encrypted phones by his previously much trusted police intelligence and the controversial  ICTA (Information and Communication  Technologies Authority The Wiretapping Scandal revealed a chain of bribe scandals involving a young Iranian businessman and  four powerful ministers in his former cabinet. Then leaks of the tapes of his phone conversations with his son contained instructions where to stash away the cash which the Erdoğan Family had been "stuck with" when the bribe scandal hit the headlines in December 2014.  

Then the disastrous defeat (for Erdogan) of ISIS in Kobane by PKK and YPG. A war during which we also saw the kidnapping of 40 something Turkish Embassy staff and their farcical rescue operation from ISIS.

Then endless numbers of grassroots environmental direct action and resistance groups all around Turkey against the building of Coal Exchanges and Nuclear Plants are to count a few.  

The melee in the Assembly was taking place against a backdrop of a number of issues on which the government had little or no control and appeared to have no impact whatever they tried to do.  A massive all out backlash by women groups and supporting men has been marching everyday for Özgecan Aslan, who was raped and murdered, to demand an end to violence against women and murders of women in the days up to the so called debate on the Draft Bill.

20 years old student Özgecan Aslan had been reported missing by her family on the evening of 12th of February after failing to return home from the University in Mersin Provence in South Cost of Turkey. Her half burnt and mutilated body was found the next day in stream bed, her hands had been cut off. Her brutal murder and her family's composed and peaceful stand calling for better education and against being used to justify reinstatement of Capital Punishment particularly heartened ordinary people.

The Kurdish Peace Process has been at stand still. This is due to the Security Bill which both the HDP, political wing of PKK sitting in for Peace Talks and the Commanders of PKK who are camping out on Kandil Mountains in Kurdistan region of Turkey have been pushing being withdrawn in its entirety in order for talks to continue.  Although Kandil Commanders and Abdullah Öcalan appear in disagreement over a number of issues including disarmament; what is really going on for the peace process is a mystery due to the secrecy and double talk of AKP Government on this issue. 

AKP has been surprised and unprepared for a defeat in Kobane and are now left with thousands of ISIS militia roaming the streets of Southern Cities in Turkey. Consequent establishment of  Kobane Canton in the same fashion that run with libertarian communist principles as in Rojava is particularly worrying for Erdoğan's regime and USA. Hence the sudden re-revelation that the USA and Turkish government will be training Free Syrian Army in Turkey. I can see a wardrop change for ISIS guerrillas donning less beard, more USA printed trousers with Turkish buttons and speaking less "Allah" more "Democracy".

Even a military show down on Syrian territory to relocate  the former tomb of Suleiman Shah, a 12th Century Seljuk Commander, and supposed grandfather of the Osman Bey, founder of Ottoman Empire   on the weekend of 21st of February  did not help to suppress the voices of cries coming from the Assembly House, rather causing much outrage in the liberal  central left and ultra nationalist right. The operation is interpreted as loss of a very important and symbolic territory of Republic of Turkey outside the borders of Turkey.  

Kurds have been on the streets marching and protesting in much larger numbers and doing this "together" in almost every major city in Turkey and Kurdistan in the last ten days under the same police brutality seen during Gezi Protests against both the Security Bill and against violence against women. People who are marching this time however are more politically focused, more radical and angrier than Gezi and angrier than ever before.

Spring seems "pregnant" with fresh hopes for new riots, new revolts, more organisation and more revolution. This time maybe, just maybe.