Türkiye'nin en iyi köşe yazarları en güzel köşe yazıları ile Hürriyet'te! Usta yazarlar ve gündemi değerlendiren köşe yazılarını takip edin.

The unclosed Iran dossier and us

The "Iran dossier" is not closed. Protests shaking the fundamentals of the oppression regime are on hold, for now. The Iranian Constitutional Court, half of its 12 members were appointed by Ayatollah Khamenei, ruled the recount of 10 percent of total votes cast. And the June 12 election results were approved once again. The case is closed but not the "Iran dossier".

We learn this from a statement posted on Hussein Mousavi’s Web page after a long period of silence. In it, he declares the government illegitimate and invites people to find "creative methods" to "continue resistance".

Mousavi calls for the release of the "Children of the Revolution" and warns that the "struggle shouldn’t aim for the elimination of the Islamic Republic" but also points out the danger that the "government has left no other choice for them".

The leader of the Reformist trend, former President Seyyed Mohammed Khatami and former Parliament Speaker Mahdi Karrubi issued similar statements after Mousavi. So did Karrubi say the government was illegitimate and declared that he would fight it in every way and by any means.

The oppressive regime in Iran harshly retaliated to the protests after the presidential elections. It announced that 20 people died and 1,032 were arrested in protests, among whom were prestigious intellectuals, journalists and academics. Although heavy pressures blocked street demonstrations, cries of "Allah-u- akbar" came from the roofs as a way to recall the 1979 Revolution period to protest the government.

However, neither the regime nor the government is facing a threat, for now. But the positions of Mousavi, Khatami and Karrubi remain unchanged. No "conciliation" with the government is on the table. The crack among the administration’s elite has not been removed; it is deepened to the contrary. Therefore the government’s legitimacy is now contentious. In any case it has lost prestige in any case.


A well-known Iranian intellectual informed me via Twitter that a common friend of ours had been detained; the friend who had attended a meeting in Liechtenstein on Iran that I wrote about before. He is one of the most distinguished personas in Iran.

Former Vice President Hujjatul Islam Abtahi of the Khatami Period had participated in that meeting as a religious figure. All other Iranian participants, including our common friend, were detained. And all were criticizing Iranian policies of the West and the Western attitude, the U.S. stance in particular, against the Iranian nuclear program.

I write this because no one can convince me that the Iranian opposition is a Western plot. Iranian opponents are pure Iranians and a group of patriots who are taking action against the "oppressive regime" that had a tendency to commit fraud in the elections in order to secure its position. The Iranian government has a trump card by reflecting that the opposition is the "extension of the West".

Such a trump card in Muslim countries has its own benefits. The Islamic-conservative circles weighing in Turkey are deceived by this game of Khamenei-Mahmoud Ahmadinejad line. You hear objections from these circles in Turkey raised against the military tutelage. But do you hear any against the "oppressive regime" in Iran? Anti-laic circles in Turkey opposing the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, do not know any kind of objection but to oppose "Islamic political patterns" or do not understand what is going on. So they are reluctant to acknowledge the incidents happening right under our noses.

Or they reach some nonsense conclusions since they try to use developments in Iran according to the internal political agenda in Turkey; for instance, looking for parallel between the biggest mass protests in Iran since 1979 and the "Republic Rallies" of 2007 in Turkey. But the Iranian equal of Turkey’s ideological-Kemalist military tutelage is the "oppressive regime" symbolized with the names of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad.


Two critical items keep Iran dossier open:

1. The crack in the administrative elite which will be difficult to fix. It is possible to see the "opponent elements" including Khatami, Karrubi, Mousavi and even Khashemi Rafsancani as Mikhail Gorbachev and his friends during Soviet Communism who tried to bring about reforms. The Iranian opponents are now trying to reform the "Islamic Republic" and to "update" it. But having conciliation between the government as part of the Islamic Republic regime and the opposition will help the closure of the Iran dossier.

2. The distance between Iranian society and the government. A government without people gradually turns into a "security regime" having the Revolution Guards and the Basiji. Yet it helps the survival of the opposition for the sake of the regime. Such dynamics, however, have a potential of ending the regime.

For this reason, although protests are over, having an unclosed Iran dossier, I mean the continuation of the resistance, sets the way for a slogan for the opposition that goes something like "We’ve lost the fight but we are set to win the war." The AKP government in Turkey will, probably, face difficulties on the Iranian issue and will fall into an impasse. As long as the Iran dossier remains unclosed the AKP government will be stuck in between.

On the evening of June 12 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rushed to congratulate Ahmadinejad. He was even quicker than Khamenei. An attempt to explain away this unnecessary and inappropriate rush came in the statement: We are at an equal distance from all parties." But developments will cause difficulty for Turkey as long as the dossier not closed.

This is how I read the situation through the message I received from the family of my Iranian friend who is one of the leading intellectuals in Tehran and under arrest. His family expects President Abdullah Gül and Erdoğan to help them for the release of my friend, believing that "not any other country but Turkey has influence over the Iranian government".

To what extent do the administrators of Turkey spend their political credit in Tehran for democratic values? There is also a possibility that Turkey may turn into a passive audience in the region in the direction of the Turkish foreign policy signed by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s and could be defined as no involvement in Iran’s internal affairs, real political actualities and zero problem with neighbors.

Such policy would not have a negative effect on Turkey in the short run but how about the middle or long run? Or perhaps, if we overcome the military tutelage in Turkey, only after it, will we have more moral influence over the "oppressive regimes" around usÉ