While ostensibly ironing out the dysfunctions, imbalances, paralyses and blockages in the system and subsystems, the authorities themselves always manage to end up less affected and less accountable. Meanwhile, society pays the price. We can offer several clear examples of this process.
Increasing terrorist attacks on military units and posts and all the lives lost indicate that commanding officers lack the skills, qualities and ability to protect their own soldiers and the nation. If they have what it takes to complete their task, then it means that they are not doing their job conscientiously.
As for the executive, that is, the government and Parliament, the crises indicate that with the authority granted to it by law, the Constitution and the public, the executive branch does not have or does not exert the necessary power to supervise or run the military and the chief of General Staff. So the government and Parliament lack the ability, character or strength required to govern the nation and the system and its subsystems such as the military.
Turning to the judiciary, we see that even when the executive attempts to exert its power, it is blocked by the ideological judiciary. Thus, the executive remains unable to perform adequately, properly or normally. As we see in the latest cases, the higher judiciary and courts characteristically interfere to protect the tutelage system and their fiefdoms established around the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and the Judges and Prosecutors Association (YARSAV). And so crises arise from the system’s failure to function properly or normally because of a fault or bad design or an irregularity in the functioning of its parts.
With every passing day the public learns more about incompetence, negligence, misdeeds and abuse of power and position, especially by military personnel. The latest revelation of the wire communications between two air forces officers and an admiral may be the last straw. An air forces officer was recorded asking a pilot to shoot down their Herons (unmanned aerial vehicles) or change their flight plans because they were causing too much damage to a group of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists, whom he referred to as “our men.” For three years, despite being informed of the event by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the chief of General Staff seems to have done next to nothing about this except cover it up. It is an open case of treason and collaboration with terrorists, but for years no one has been held accountable for this or similar events. In any other country, a much lesser event would have led to investigations, resignations and prosecutions.
The financial and economic dealings of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) are also problematic. Tomorrow, the case of the Turkish Armed Forces Assistance Center (OYAK) will be raised before Parliament. OYAK, the largest pension fund and the third-largest conglomerate in Turkey, is still unaccountable for its investments in many sectors, such as steel, logistics, automotive, trade, cement, insurance and banking. It benefits from state subsidiaries, has certain privileges and a monopoly on certain fields and tender bids, but is still unaccountable to and even unmonitored by civilian authorities. OYAK does not accept a recent court verdict that stipulates it has to comply with the Law on Public Procurement and has therefore turned to Parliament to request a renewal of an exemption from the legislation. It has enjoyed this exemption for the last 50 years. This case highlights the imbalances and breakdowns between the parts of the system and will show which is superior -- the law or hidden agreements between the government, other parties and the TSK.
All events like these, similar disaggregation of the system, all breakdowns of the functional and integrative mechanisms of relations in one sector of the system or another, and paralyses or blockages therein, provoke crises. In all cases, we the public pay for the crises while the highest authorities maintain their status and privileges. This provokes a reaction, disgust and dismay in those who seek to correct the imbalance that has taken place in the system.
However, the public never forgets the wrongdoers, injustices and atrocities it witnesses in so much loss of human life and state resources and in such malfunction within the system. Sooner or later the public calls to account the culprits and teaches them a lesson. In their arrogance and willful neglect some authorities may delude themselves that they will escape the repercussions of their abuse of power and position. But history is full of examples of the fall from grace and power of heedless rulers.