‘There is no condition that Erdoğan can govern the Turkey under the ordinary rule of law’

Political Scientist Süreyya Algül: There is no condition that Erdoğan can govern the country under the ordinary rule of law any more.

In our interview with Dr. Süreyya Algül, we discussed the 15 July coup attempt, which will be in the second year in a few days, with the role of restructuring the state. How did even the Turkish Grand National Assembly get bombed in a coup attempt? What role did the OHAL and KHK play in the process of single man regime? How was the struggle against the putschists directed toward the workers, the academicians who fight against the war, critize the ruling party, and toward the workers  who go on strike for their rights? Will the removal of the OHAL make a difference?

Süreyya Algül, who signed the peace report and was dismissed with the February 2017 KHK from the Political Science and International Relations Department of  Yıldız Technical University, replied.

It has been over two years, but a series of questions like why the military did not prevent the coup, why the top commanders of the army went to their homes and to their homes when a major man went to MIT (intelligence service) to report the coup. Nothing has emerged from the research commission established for this. What is the explanation for these cannot be answered despite the dominance in the police, intelligence, the military and the army?

The answer to this question is hidden in the words of dominance in your question. If the Assembly, including the research and inquiry committees, is not independent from the executive branch, if it is unable to function within a limited autonomous status provided by the legal framework against power, and if the judiciary,which must be independent and impartial, is to lose its qualitiesto a great extent, if we have a media like the one we have today, we are faced with the so-called truth, not the simple reality, but the manipulated or wholly manufactured. This is what it is! But this was happening yesterday, too. For example, I have to say this about the topic the Parliament Coup Research Commission; in the past, if a parliamentary commission of inquiry or investigation was being established, it was almost everybody else’s guess, except for some exceptions, that it was usually aimed at the assimilation of the public expectation and the demise of the subject, not the fact that it was actually investigated and questioned. This is a tradition of Turkey with new and old one. But of course all the problems in these areas are, manipulated or fabricated supposedly been offered in the fact that the scale and audacity are now so much bigger, reality of new Turkey!

‘EVEN THE STATE OF EMERGENCY (OHAL) HAS A LEGITIMATE GROUND, TODAY THERE IS NO GROUND FOR IT’

Neither the partnership with the Gülen community cost anything  to the government, nor did the political footprint of the coup come in sight. While it was enough to say ‘we are deceived, my Lord, our people may forgive us”, why was the ‘struggle with putschists directed to the soldiers on the roads on July 15 or to the scholars who wanted peace?

Unfortunately, we do not have an independent, impartial and transparent legal system and a democratic political system. Yes, we have never had much, but today we are in a worse situation. For example, even a state of emergency and a martial law would have a legal ground, today there is no ground even! We live in a state where almost everybody who is mistaken in the administration of the state has no political and legal confrontation of the offences committed but is seen as a potential danger except for those with power and from ruling party. Moreover, we are in a climate in which social and political polarization and the conflict is constantly embittered for a very long time. It is not surprising that the desire for democracy and the defence of peace are criminalised in such a regime and in this climate. But let’s not get used to it and do not get carried away!

President  Erdoğan has called the coup attempt ‘a blessing from God’. How can a coup attempt be a blessing for whom?

Of course for himself. Naturally, of course, it is about the process after the coup attempt. With the pretext of fighting “FETÖ”, thousands of people who were regarded as opposition to the power of government officials were cleaned. Likewise, many left/socialist-oriented associations, trade unions, foundations, newspapers, radio and television, etc., were closed by the administrative decisions replacing the judicial decision. In the political area, HDP was constantly criminalized, trying to isolate co-presidents, members of parliament, members and administrators, and arrested and detained.CHP and other opposition parties’ are provided to stay away from ‘Yenikapı Spirit’ and HDP. At the same time, the KHKs and the constitutional amendments have changed the state so as to allow the architectural presidency and furthermore the single person to establish the administrative monarchy. In the same arrangement, the Assembly’s officials are also scrutinizing. We can say that Erdoğan’s words “a blessing from Allah” have been written down as the word of this process.

THEY HAVE TO RULE WITH STATE OF EMERGENCY BUT THIS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE’

As emphasized in the report you have prepared, there is no area where the OHRCs are unfamiliar, but what was the most critical areas in terms of speeding up the transition to single man administration and ‘road cleaning’?

In particular, the regulations aimed at the remodeling of the state’s architecture, the fact that the hierarchical integrity of intelligence, security, military institutions and commandments, which are almost occupational, must be protected even if they are damaged by the hierarchical integrity of the command, the appointment of the Undersecretariat of Defense Industry to the president, the appointment of the judiciary to the architectural and even judicial institutions, to replace it … The difficulties of judicial control over privatizations and public investments are the first areas to be considered.

While discussing how to remove the OHAL will change the situation, Binali Yıldırım explains, “We will publish the final decision, and if the OHAL is left, there will be the arrangements necessary for counter terrorism” Is this statement strengthening the view that ‘OHAL is removed’?

Exactly, it is. Today, in the situation they have brought the country into there is no condition that the ruling party, which Tayyip Erdoğan is in charge of, can govern the country with the ordinary rule of law. Maybe not in appearance, but mainly with OHAL. I am not at all sure that such a way of governance can last for a long time and easily.

Serpil İLGÜN
İSTANBUL

Source: Evrensel Daily

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In 7 questions, what is new ‘Presidential System of Governance’ of Turkey?

What are the powers of Tayyip Erdoğan who was elected as the first president of the new system on 24 June 2018? How will the government take form?

What is “Presidential System of Governance” which was brought about by the election on 16 April 2017? What are the powers of Tayyip Erdoğan who was elected as the first president of the new system on 24 June 2018? How will the government and cabinet take form in the new system?

Lawyer Kamil Tekin Sürek, answers the most sought 7 questions regarding the new system.

1- When will the government be formed and begin to work in the office?

After the president´s inauguration, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Parliament) will gather and elect the chair of the assembly and the deputy chair. Then it will break for vacation.

2- Are there any requirements for vice presidents? Also, it was declared that there will be 16 ministries. Could there be new ministry roles created and some ministry roles abolished after a year?

In the past, the number of ministries and which institutions they would rule was determined by law. Now, the number of ministries and their duties are determined by the presidential decree. Therefore, the president will specify the name and number of ministries by establishing a decree after his inauguration. According to the news in the media, he will go further and establish secretaries and offices. Then on the same day or possibly on another day, he will appoint the ministers and other bureaucrats.

The number and appointments of vice presidents will be also determined by the same decree.

A change in the number (of ministries) and names can only be possible with another presidential decree.

3- Let’s clarify the authority of enacting a decree. The president does not need to present the decrees to the parliament. When does the parliament have a say on this?

The president has the authority of enacting a decree. This happens in two ways. The first one is done through the administrative arrangements and the decrees with regards to the execution (presidential decrees). So, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Parliament) cannot interfere with appointments, dismissals, establishment and removal of organisations etc.  However, the parliament can take it to the constitutional court to revoke the decree if it believes it is unconstitutional and unlawful.

The president also has the authority of enacting laws other than the ones within the constitution on fundamental rights. These decrees can also be taken to the constitutional court, and they can be bypassed with another law by the parliament.  If the president and the majority within the parliament are not from the same party, there will be clashes and conflicts on these issues. Besides, the president has the authority of enacting a state of emergency decrees if he declares a state of emergency (approved by the parliament). In this situation, the enactment of state of emergency needs to be approved by the parliament within three months.

4- How will the state of emergency be declared in the new governmental system? What is the difference between the state of emergency declared today and the one declared in the new system?

The president can declare a state of emergency over a part of or the whole country for no more than six months in the situations of war, mobilisation, a powerful and active attempt against the country or the republic, the breakdown of the public order because of the violent attacks, or the heavy economic burden. In the past, the government via the cabinet would declare the state of emergency. Now, the president will declare it.

5- Why would the president need a state of emergency when he has the authority to issue presidential decrees?

Jurisdiction does broaden for decrees under the state of emergency. “The president can enact presidential decree in emergency states without bounded by any restriction, in the issues which it believes the state of emergency requires. “

6- What can be done with the majority in the parliament?

The party or the alliance which has the majority in the parliament can make law, choose the chairperson of the parliament and do the works which can be done by an absolute majority.

7- What is the process of the trial of the president?

A prosecution can be requested by the absolute majority of the members of the parliament (more than 300) for the alleged crime committed by the president. Negotiating on the resolution within one month at the latest, the parliament will decide on the investigation with the secret votes of at least three-fifths of the parliament (360 MPs). When an investigation is decided, the 15-person commission will investigate the case. The 15-person commission will be drawn from a list of names given by the parties in proportion to the representation they have within the parliament which will be three times more than the names which they can offer to the commission. The commission will present the result of the investigation in a report within two months. If the investigation cannot be finished within two months, it will extend it for another month with a clear end date. For the alleged crimes the president has committed, the sections within the article will be applied (only) after the president´s tenure.

Source: Evrensel Daily

Translation by Cansu Güneş İspir

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Questions of the post-election period, concerning foreign policy

One of the important questions of the post-election period is foreign policy… Where is Turkey to steer towards?

With the ending of election period in Turkey, the road is now paved for the presidential system. In the new system, most of the function of the Assembly is due to be slashed with the office of prime ministry abolished and the executive powers transferred to the president. In place of pluralism will be a new system wherein ministers can be appointed. Those advocating the presidential system whose simulations we have been experiencing now for a while are putting forward examples from the west yet do not deign to mention the rigid operation of the principle of checks and balances in the cases cited. In the system planned to be implemented in Turkey, leave aside the ensuring the principle of checks and balances, a single centre will instead be all-determining over its entirety. The difference between majority and pluralism has quite possibly never been this deep.

One of the important questions of the post-election period is foreign policy…

Where is Turkey to steer towards? Is it to give up its rhetoric that no longer serves a function and damages the country? We will probably learn the answers to these questions in the coming weeks.

Before Turkey stands many a case concerning foreign policy.

Turning into the proverbial tale and having been forced into an impasse over the last two years with counter rhetoric, is it to be a new beginning for the European Union process or will it be ended once and for all?

Will stable and long termed policies towards the countries of the region ranging from Egypt to Iraq be determined or will the discourse and actions seeking to save the day continue?

What are the new steps going to be in relation to the process ongoing in Syria? Are we to expect harsher policy and steps? What are we to understand from the phrase “the liberation of Syrian soil” stressed in statements made during the election night? How is the Syrian soil to be liberated? With diplomacy or even harsher military attempts? Why are the Syrian soil being liberated by Turkey, who is it being liberated for?

What is the attitude towards the Kurds in Syria going to be? Becoming even more severe in tandem with the fragile situation in Turkey it is embryonic to many a scenario in foreign policy.

Everyone is pledging the return of all refugees but how is this to take place? Is Turkey, undertaking military operations against certain regions in Syria, going to force the refugees to settle in those regions? As those regions are someone’s property, how are those property owners going to be persuaded to rescind their rights as well as those refugees in Turkey to settle on someone’s else property and who is going to do this persuading?

Before the elections, the US and Turkey had arrived at quite similar positions about Syria. However, at the same time, each countries’ agenda in Syria and its allies are considerably different. How is the discrepancy between the two countries going to close?

Yet another question is Iran… What is Turkey’s position going to be as the pressure on Iran increases? Does Turkey’s foreign-steered have a roadmap for the Iran case about which it is difficult to remain impartial?

While the Turkish-Russian rapprochement has seen fluctuations, including the issue of purchase of S-400’s which dropped from the agenda during elections, many other issues may arise. Is Turkey going to be able to provide a balance between Russia and the western bloc?

Another topic not discussed as it coincided with the election period in Turkey is Palestine. After the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinian question entered a new period however conditions in this period by far are against the Palestinians. The period the US has dubbed the plan of the century has in effect started. Is Turkey going to do anything about the Palestinian question which remains to be an important part of the internal politics in the country and utilised frequently in public rallies? It is possible to state that leeway in relation to this has narrowed quite considerably. Either the Palestinian side or Israel… Processes of moderation etc are largely done away with nowadays since it is the US who is behind the process known as the plan of the century.

It is possible to raise more questions yet with these major lines, there stands before Turkey many a foreign policy case with a multitude of questions expecting answers.

Article by Hediye LEVENT

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The rulership of the losers

Regardless of what the figures say about the results; this is in fact the rulership of those who lost and are destined to lose.

Historical examples have shown that a weak rulership is more oppressive and aggressive. A ruler that dresses every word with the clatter of chain and sword, the sound of guns and calls for hangings, in fact, tries to cover his/her own cowardice and weakness. Every ruler standing by violence and oppression is also a merchant of religion; nationalist cries are his/her capital.

In order to understand why the ruling partners are resorting to attacking the opposition with venom and hatred, only ten days after the elections, we need to look carefully at the recent past. Regardless of what the figures say about the results; this is, in fact, the rulership of those who lost and are destined to lose.

They lost because they did not form the “strong” parliament they imagined; despite all their aggression and resorting to all kinds of unlawful and immoral means, they could not cover up the dirty fight among themselves. On the contrary, they witnessed the birth of a movement of opposition, determined to continue the struggle and united on the ground.

Let me remind you of some events that took place since the elections:  Former deputy of CHP, Eren Erdem, has been arrested; Minister of Home Affairs Soylu forbade “participation of CHP organisations in funerals of soldiers”; HDP deputy Pervin Buldan was again threatened by Mr Soylu on the telephone. Especially with the threat that “Even CHP can’t save you this time…” Following this, the Governor of Sivas threatened those wanting to commemorate during the Madımak massacre (where 33 intellectuals were burned alive in Madımak Hotel in Sivas on July 1993), stating that they “will intervene if there are any slogans against the government or the President”. On the same day, another prominent news item in the papers added a new ring to the chain of threats and violence: new MPs in parliament belonging to the BBP (Big Unity Party) had ‘pulled their sleeves up’ in order to bring back the death penalty.

The fact that the AKP dreams of ‘majority rule’ were dealt a blow by the HDP surpassing the electoral threshold, realised mainly by the votes from the CHP voter base in tactical voting, created a sense of great anger and a sense of defeat in the ruling bloc. They saw a base of a great alliance and they were afraid of it; they are right to be fearful. This united opposition indication is to the direction and tendency of continued democratic struggle.

On the other hand, the rulership has taken its place in the driving seat with a fireball, in terms of economic direction, on its lap. The economy, already shaky and expected to go into crisis at any moment, is on the brink of deeper trouble due to the billions spent during the election.

The rulership losers see oppression and violence as the only path. Anger, fear and chaos manifest itself in illogical arguments and extreme displays of religious and nationalist fervour. It is time to realise our own strength, get together, strengthen the tendency to unite and continue the struggle.

Article by Mustafa YALCINER

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Call from the EMEP to struggle against ‘one-man’ regime and it’s new attacks

The Labour Party (EMEP) called for the struggle to establish a new state order on the basis of a constitution, securing democratic rights and freedoms

The Labour Party (EMEP) Executive Board (GYK) assessed the results of the June 24th elections. During the two-day meetings, the election process, the election day, and the events that followed were discussed in detail. EMEP published a statement after the discussion “Erdoğan and the Presidential Alliance evaluated the victory of the elections as an “advantage” in the new attacks against the masses of labourers.” Emphasizing that Soylu’s declarations targeting the HDP and the CHP are “signs of violence and repression politics, polarizing, persisting pressure on the opposition”, EMEP called for collaboration against the one-man regime and new attack attempts.

THE RESULTS DO NOT FULLY REFLECT THE FREEWILL OF THE VOTERS

It was underlined that during the election process and after the results were disclosed, the results of the evaluations of the residents could not be said to completely reflect the free will of the voters. It has been said in the statement that “In the 24th June elections under the OHAL conditions, Erdogan and the “Presidential Alliance parties”, while using the public power and possibilities in an unlimited and trouble-free way, prevented the political work of the opposition and led to the unfairness of the ruling coalition on the media, caused a legitimacy problem. In the election, the boxes and the census were not safe either. The announcement of results by Anadolu Agency before YSK; The announcement of an early “victory” by President Erdogan based on these results has added to the odds of the election.”

THE AKP WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN THE MAJORITY OF THE PARLIAMENT

EMEP said that despite all the controversy and legitimacy discussions, the results of the elections showed that the workers’ expectations of resolving the problems of the AKP and Erdogan were gradually falling. “The June 24th elections, according to the June 7th and November 1st, 2015 elections and the April 16th referendum, indicate that mass support of the parties of the Presidential Alliance has narrowed, rather than expanding. The AKP lost votes compared to previous elections. However, it is also clear that the labourers who voted for the AKP are not yet able to act independently of choice of capital rather than their class interests. Labourers who have moved away from the AKP voted for the MHP in the Presidential Alliance and used their preferences in this block. ” EMEP, which also commented on the vote rates of The Millet Alliance, which consists of CHP, the IYI Party, the SAADET Party and the Democratic Party, said that The Millet Alliance, supported and promoted by another segment of the capital class, did not receive support it expected from the masses, even though it created an upsurge in the electoral segments.

KURDISH PEOPLE ARE DECISIVE IN DEFENSE OF THEIR DEMOCRATIC DEMANDS

Regarding the election results of the HDP, the EMEP made the following assessment: “The HDP, which entered the elections outside these two alliances, was entitled to be represented in the parliament as the third and largest party with both the votes of the Kurdish population and the support from the west. The support of our party, the democratic forces and some of the masses under the political influence of the CHP played a decisive role in the passage of the threshold. Despite the partial loss of votes in the provinces of the HDP, the result has shown that the Kurdish people will continue to defend democratic demands against all oppression, prohibition and attack. ”

NEW ATTACKS ARE ON THE WAY

“Erdoğan and the Presidential Alliance considered the victory of the elections to be an advantage in the new attacks against the masses of the working people, EMEP underlined that the new attacks are at the door:“The current account deficit and budget deficit are increasing and TL depreciation continues. Prices of basic consumer goods, especially food, are increasing and inflation is rising rapidly in double digits. Growth rates are declining in the world economy, and the number of crises is increasing. Together with international monopolies and financial centres after the June 24th elections, the organizations of the monopoly bourgeoisie, such as TÜSİAD, explained the expectations of the ruling bloc around Erdoğan and the “reforms” in the form of “spreading taxes”.This is a demand for the payment of the economic crisis to the workers and labourers, and it is a sign that working conditions and living conditions are getting worse in the coming period. It will not be a surprise that there will be new hikes in the austerity measures in the name of saving the economy and tax increases. it would not be wrong to say that Erdogan will use all the means against the possible workers’ strikes as in the past, that the reactions will be suppressed. ”

“The violence and repression policies, polarization, and the pressures on the opposition are the first signs that the pressures on the opposition will be sustained,” said EMEP, who also criticized the Interior Minister Soylu for threatening HDP spokesman Pervin Buldan and preventing CHP members from participating in martyrdom funerals. In this regard, the Presidential Alliance will try to build a one-man administration, disregarding all democratic gains. ”

STRUGGLE FOR PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACY

In a statement that stated that it is possible to stop the movement that will be launched on behalf of the one man regime construction, EMEP made the following call to the workers and labourers: “Labor, peace and democracy forces will not give up this struggle. Our party has made propaganda of the choice of “people’s democracy based on a true popular sovereignty” against the regime choices in the form of “one man regime” or “parliamentary” democracy, presented before the workers in election campaigns. The regime debate is not a closed debate after the election. Regardless of the name of the political regime, current governments continue to function as the political bodies of capital powers, using all means and methods. Our party continues to call for struggle, as expressed in the election platform, “the choice of a new state order based on the constitution, which is prepared by the constituent assembly of the representatives of the people elected by the people with the widest participation and presented to the people’s consent and guarantees the absolute sovereignty and power of the people and democratic rights and freedoms”. In this framework, we call on all workers and labourers unite; all forces to strive for peace and democracy against a single man regime and new attempts to attack.”

Source: Evrensel Daily

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