Sunday, 18 October 2015

Dani Rodrik on Sledgehammer in Turkey

Dani Rodrik is not only the most thoughtful writer I know about international political economy, he has also been fighting for justice for his father-in-law in Turkey. Here is his account of a major conspiracy to subvert the rule of law. His description of the role of the intelligentsia, starting on page 23, is particularly uncomfortable reading.
There were a few prominent journalists such as Sedat Ergin, Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, and Ezgi Başaran who wrote about the inconsistencies in the mainstream media. But for the most part we were ignored by the Turkish intelligentsia, and when not, pilloried for our views. Rarely was the evidence we presented discussed seriously....

Eventually, Görmüş would essentially give up any pretense of a credible court case against the defendants. In an interview published in early 2014, he would say he opposed the arguments Pınar and I were making because of the effect we were having on “public opinion”: “I am fighting against the perception that ‘nothing happened in this country since 2002, that the military did not take a stance against the elected government, that everything is made up.’”

Ultimately, to many commentators it apparently did not matter whether the Sledgehammer documents were authentic.
The highlighted part is to show what happens when you subordinate principle to means-end reasoning.

This a great piece of writing which, among other things, does the very needful job of naming the guilty men.