I read the second Osman Kavala indictment and it was painful.
It was agonizing to read the indictment; however necessary. The indictment is not just a document written against businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala to keep him in jail: it is a document that shows us the paradigm that is holding Turkey captive.
I am not going to go over the indictment page by page here. That would be unbearable, like reading 4chan or 8chan. I will give you a sense of what is in it. The indictment is based on the idea that Turkey is under attack by dark powers! And these dark powers are — of course! — led by foreign powers who use their mercenaries in Turkey.
At first glance, one might think that the indictment could have been written by QAnon supporters or flat earthers. The document is a pile of conspiracy theories and resentment towards the West and democratic values.
In the indictment, words like CIA and Soros are mentioned around a hundred times. It basically says that the CIA or the U.S. deep state is leading covert operations to weaken Turkey, and Soros, through some sort of an evil agenda, is trying to hurt Turkey through democracy! However, there is no concrete proof of anything in the indictment — just some observations and assumptions. If the CIA had a covert operation uncovered by the state attorney, I really would love to read about it. But no, you won’t find such proof in the indictment.
The indictment is just dumping some names and conspiracies back to back.
The July 15, 2016 coup attempt takes up many pages in the indictment. We read about what an awful attempt it was to oust an elected body in Turkey. However, it is really hard to see how it is related to Osman Kavala, other than the underlying idea that the attempt was actually prepared by the CIA, and Kavala is, I guess, a mercenary according to the narrative of the indictment. Though again, there are only some ideas in between the lines, no solid proof of pretty much anything.
It is easy to see that the state attorney who wrote the indictment sees the West and Western values as dangerous, even as the enemy. It is underlined in the indictment that Kavala met with members of the European Parliament during and after the Gezi protests. This is mentioned, for example, as some sort of a proof of how Kavala cooperated with the West and thus he set off the Gezi protests. According to the indictment, talking to MEPs is an act of spying.
It actually is really hurtful to see the state of mind of a person of law, an attorney of the state, in this document. Apparently, the attorney who prepared the indictment has no idea that Turkey is still officially a candidate member to the EU — so naturally, there are MEPs working and reporting on Turkey.
The same spirit also dominated the Brunson indictment. I had to read that too, and what’s more, attend the court case. It was just as agonising. Basically, anything foreign is dangerous and evil, and anyone who talks to any foreign official is automatically a spy. Both the Brunson and Kavala indictments are so out of touch with reality and the basic principles of law that I don’t even know how a defense would be prepared against that.
This is an indicator about the political atmosphere in Turkey and the paradigm through which the governing body sees the world. Each and every day, Turkey is getting farther from democratic values; that is one thing. But Turkey is also losing touch with reality. The law operates under conspiracy theories; foreign policy is determined by epic Turkish television series portraying variou periods of the Ottoman Empire, and the economy is driven by inshallah mashallah.
We are living in times in which conspiracy theories are becoming more popular. However, it is one thing when people on the street start to find conspiracy theories rational, and it is another when conspiracy theories become the official narrative.
At this point, it is really hard to draw a brighter picture when it comes to Turkey, unfortunately.