Nationalist heads says ‘no’ to charter
ANKARATen former heads of the Idealist Clubs Educational and Cultural Foundation (Ülkü Ocakları), a Turkish nationalist organization, which has close links with the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have declared their opposition to proposed constitutional amendments in contrast to the party.
“We are making this call in an aim to show our determination and our unity of will while saying ‘no’ to the constitutional amendment for historical, political and moral reasons,” the statement issued on Jan. 20 by 10 former nationalist heads and MHP lawmakers said.
In the statement signed by Atilla Kaya, İrfan Özcan, Müsavat Dervişoğlu, Alişan Satılmış, Suat Başaran, Azmi Karamahmutoğlu, Ulvi Batu, Mustafa Hakan Ünser, Servet Avcı and Harun Öztürk, the lawmakers and ex-foundation heads declared they would say “no.”
“We will not say ‘yes’ to those who co-opt nationalism to build a new regime in the direction of their own ideologies and interests. Our understanding of nationalism does not allow the reduction of the ‘national sovereignty’ to single-man power. Our nationalism does not allow the establishment of a social order with an understanding that gives away human rights and freedoms,” the lawmakers stated.
Opposing proposed regulations that would allow the president to re-establish political links, the lawmakers argued that a partisan president would compromise the impartiality of the judiciary, which would eventually “further consolidate the already existing social tension.”
“The fact that the president will wear a party badge and have unlimited authority over the judiciary, executive and security bureaucracy is tantamount to demolishing democracy while attempting to legalize the de facto situation,” lawmakers said, referring to MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s initial comment that initiated the constitutional amendment process Bahçeli criticized the AKP on Oct. 11, 2016, saying the current situation was a de facto presidency and had to be legalized.
“At this point, the ruling party is imposing a regime transferring sovereignty to a ‘single man’ by denying their own initial reasoning,” the statement read.
“By reason and conscience, it is not possible to accept the partisan presidency; which was to be imposed by the excuses of ‘a legalization of the de facto situation’ and ‘elimination of the threat to the state’s survival,’” it added.
“People with intelligence and conscience who are bound to the principles of ‘the state of law’ and ‘the principles of law’ cannot even consider debating such an abomination,” they said.