The absurdities of the Ergenekon investigation in Turkey have reached even greater heights. Now investigators are after every single copy of a draft book by the journalist Ahmet Şık (titled The Imam’s Army), which reportedly describes infiltration of the police and judiciary by Fethullah Gülen’s followers. Individuals who have a copy of the book in their possession have been warned that they will be charged as Ergenekon accomplices if they do not turn the book over. Police have raided the publishers and are destroying on the spot every digital copy they locate. Meanwhile Şık himself is in jail, charged on the basis of evidence that he is told is “secret.”
As I wrote earlier, the Ergenekon investigations have turned into the judicial equivalent of a pyramid scheme. The prosecutors first went after the ultra-nationalists thought to constitute the backbone of the plot. Then they went after those who had phone conversations with them. Then they went after those who had no connection whatsoever but simply seemed to carry anti-government views. Next in line were the journalists who were against the Ergenekon investigations. And now it’s the turn of journalists who actually have supported the Ergenekon investigations, but have unkind things to say about how the police are running the show.
Prime Minister Erdoğan has tried to distance himself from these goings-on, but he has also given the prosecutors cover by saying they must know what they are doing. I cannot imagine that he is entirely happy with what the police and prosecutors are up to. Why rock the boat and make so many enemies when the June elections seem to be in the bag?
One interpretation is that this is a power play by the Gülenists to show who the real boss is. So here is the question worth pondering: who is really governing Turkey at the moment? Erdogan or the Gülenists?