By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The bizarre world that churns inside Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s presidential palace reached a new zenith with the unveiling of surveillance control rooms inside, giving him unprecedented ability to personally spy on seventy seven million Turkish citizens. In a feat of technical engineering rivaling that of George Orwell’s Big Brother, the president will certainly enjoy the spectacle of his new spyglass.
According to Al-Monitor, the system has 143 displays that allow President Erdogan to tap into closed-circuit television systems in the streets of eighty one of Turkey’s provinces along with its government’s Mobile Electronic System Integration (MOBESE) and those used in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
With the system about to become live, Erdogan will now be able to personally watch all public demonstrations, city life, military and police operations, and other events he finds of concern.
The system is not limited to just government operated video systems, the control center is wired to monitor cellular 3G traffic and television broadcasts, the Gendarmerie, the Disasters and Emergencies Management Directive, Information and Technologies Authority (BTK), and the intelligence services.
Erdogan’s palace also maintains a junior varsity version of the NSA with three massive servers storing all MOBESE data archives. A workstation is set up by the BTK will permit the unfettered access to all data. Military operations can be transferred from the Chief of Staff’s Operations Bureau to the White Palace.
Erdogan also directed that the Crisis Management Center at the country’s Prime Ministry be tapped to transfer operations directly to his control center.
President Erdogan shows almost complete intolerance of dissent or questioning and is known for his hostility to the internet and various freedoms of expression enjoyed by Turkey’s citizenry; yet his need for complete surveillance in every corner of government and the lives of all individuals borders on the pathological and in many respects paranoia. He is showing many of the hallmarks of a transition into a dictator increasingly driven by narcissism, intolerance and an underlying fear perhaps of overthrow.
He seems to have a nostalgic dream of the grand days of the Ottoman Empire merged with a complete surveillance apparatus and full integration into the fabric of Turkish Society. His world is one where a single person writing a text message on Twitter or SMS is something that should be scrutinized personally. Every street corner must be watched; every Donner Kebab shop is suspicious. Control is most certainly his goal.
By Darren Smith
Source: Al-Monitor Online
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.