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

State is not a ’mother,’ but like a grim guardian

Almost every day I open the papers, watch TV news and live with the same "winds of lies."

Everybody, every institution is two-faced.

One face is the one reflected on the outside and the other the real one.

One is very bright, nice, civilized, kind; the other is ugly, jealous, grim.

The Turkish Republic is also two-faced.

When making its own propaganda the Turkish Republic compares itself to a compassionate mother.

Extremely compassionate.

Like a mother watching over its children. A mother who does the best to contribute to their growth. A mother who does not distinguish between one and the other.

But the reality is different.

But to our regret the state’s real face is very grim. We make up the state. Bureaucrats acting on behalf of the state, politicians making decisions and applying them are the law enforcement officers.

The state is similar to a jealous guardian. It behaves like a guardian who is peremptory, who beats people when angry and who instead of helping people despises them. The state always talks about "the law." It likes to be defined as the "state of law." Whereas it only uses the law when it suits itself.

Let me give one or two examples.

You know the adventures of Cıngıllıoğlu. I am talking about Halit Cıngıllıoğlu who trusted the state and filled his safe with government bonds. When he was short of cash the state did not pay his money and said, "Did I reassure you?" He then went bankrupt and lost Denizbank.

Then there is Mehmet Emin Karamehmet.

Imagine yourself as a businessman. You make a decision and carry it out. Years pass and nobody says anything. Then after nine years a law passes and the lawmaker says, "I will also apply this law retrospectively."

Meaning the rules of the game change after the game is over.

In a country where laws can be changed like this, who can trust the future? How can a person that does not know what kind of problems he will face in the future take on responsibility? The same thing happened to Çukurova. Çukurova Group sold Interbank to the Çağlar Group in 1996. Then after 12 years the TMSF says that in this transaction there was fraud on part of Çukurova Group. Why? Because Çukurova Group issued a credit to Çağlar before the sale of Interbank. The TMSF claims that Çağlar, in order to buy the bank, took a loan from the same bank. Thus it claims that Çukurova emptied its own bank in an indirect way.

But there are two important points to it.

The first point is that authorities of the Turkish Republic knew about Interbank’s sale and issuance of credit at Interbank. This huge bank was not sold secretly. It is impossible to realize sales without the necessary formal permission. So, if there is a crime then why didn’t anybody interfere?

The second important point is that during the period of the sale according to laws in the Turkish Republic, the statute of limitations for crimes pertaining to banking transactions was one year.

But nine years later the state says, "No, buddy, I’ll change the law and also apply it to the past."

When does this change take place? Nov. 1, 2005. And not enough with that. After this change in law took place the TMSF keeps quiet. It did not accuse Çukurova Group in this respect for about a period of three years. On Jan. 7, 1999, Interbank then owned by Çağlar was transferred to the state owned fund. Meaning that three and a half years after Çukurova Group sold the bank, it was transferred to the state.

The state knew about all transactions within the bank but did not take any action.

So when did the TMSF take action? In May 2008. Here is the problem: If this transaction were a crime, then why didn’t anyone take action in 1999? Let’s say nobody took any action back then and the rules of the game were changed illegally and statute of limitations was increased to 20 years with retrospective ability, why didn’t anyone still take action?

I could give countless examples like these.

Some pertaining to trade, some to politics.

The worst part is we can’t call the state to account. Since the "state of law" is only an expression, those acting on behalf of the sate can behave as boorishly as they want.

And if we add to that the habit of perceiving every rich person as a thief and enemy, the expression "this is the state, it beats you or loves you as it pleases" becomes somewhat tolerable. But what a pity this boorishness can be seen in every part of society. Those who don’t consider the possibility that what happened to others today may happen to them applaud the state, sometimes out of fear and sometimes out of envy. Of course, only as long as they encounter the same situation.

After I realized this, I didn’t believe in "mother state" stories anymore.