As Turkey's quest to come to terms with its militarized past continues, several pro-government figures race against each other to display their creativity in writing an alternative, sometimes fictional history.
Latest example was Hasan Celal Güzel, a former minister from Refah Party (RP). Güzel says that three RP members were briefed before the 1997 military memorandum, aka the Postmodern Coup, Vatan newspaper reported today.
According to Güzel, three colonels boasted of being able to create "popstars" overnight, giving the example of a then-newcomer singer, Mirkelam. A general showed his first video and told the MPs that this singer would be known by all Turks the next day, as sixteen columnists would write about him on the orders from the army.
This claim is not only awkward, but also factually wrong, according to Mirkelam's agent. "Mirkelam's first video was released on May 1995. It was two years before the military memorandum," he explained.
It is good that I'm writing about a past that I clearly remember, so I can compare Güzel's "alternative" history with the real one that we lived. It is true that several columnists had praised Mirkelam then, but nobody had found it strange. Simply, Mirkelam was one of the pioneers of the Turkish pop music with the quality of his sounds, as well as his videos, and he deserved his rise to fame.
Here is his first video with the famous "suburban runner" theme, which had made a difference among other pop videos of the time with their boring, traditional settings:
Güzel's historical inaccuracy reminded me of the so-called Sledgehammer Coup plan. Several independent inspectors conclude that the main evidence in the case is digitally forged. As an instance, the "coup document", which is supposed to be written in 2002, includes MS Word font called Calibri, which was included in the program only in 2007, it was reported.
The allegation about Mirkelam is easier to refute, technically. But "creative" people like Güzel can find avenues of escape. I'll give them a clue: In one of his videos, Mirkelam was spotted alongside Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in a Zelig-style scene. So, here is your evidence to arrest him today, but then you need to fill prisons with millions of Turks, if you arrest everybody who showed their love for Atatürk in the past: