The bill to lift immunities
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies made a mistake. It may have been a normal act for them, perhaps, to embrace outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members; however, they should have known how much of a tough reaction these kisses in front of the cameras (in a scenario that had obviously been prepared beforehand), would create in a public that watches funeral news and tears up every day. Not only that, but they must have surely known that they were breaking the law with this embrace.
Up to this point, you may justify Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s stance. You may find the steps he has taken as normal, ones that include responding to society’s reaction, enforcing the law and intimidating the BDP. Moreover, you may want the BDP members jailed. However, before making your final decision, it’s much better to think for a while.
* The BDP deputies are people who have set out to take their lives into their hands. Expulsion from Parliament or jail will in no way deter them; on the contrary, it will sharpen them.
* The PKK will be very happy with these developments and will issue propaganda both to its own public and to Europe that Turkey cannot even tolerate people who have been elected with Kurdish votes to remain in Parliament. It will recover a portion of the sympathy it has lost in Europe.
* The PKK will also escalate terror incidents, send its supporters to the streets and turn them into fireballs.
I could make this list longer.
I could also include the fractures within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the votes they would lose in the next election, and the fact that if they were looking for a solution this attitude would not get them anywhere.
There is definitely a strategy in the prime minister’s mind. There is no way we can know this. Consequently, based on the data we have, I believe that lifting the political immunities would not bring any benefit either to our country or to the ruling party. However, Erdoğan is determined to lift the immunities.
It’s a pity. We will again find ourselves inside an unnecessary battle.
Dear young colleagues
I’m writing this for some of our young colleagues. Please don’t be mad at me, just listen. As a senior colleague, I want to draw attention to a trend. It is for those who ask the prime minister a certain type of question, especially in front of cameras.
- Prime Minister, you have an extremely correct Middle East policy. Are you going to take new steps in the next term?
- Esteemed Prime Minister, I also believe that the presidential system will solve Turkey’s problems. I know you want this also. Do you know why the opposition opposes it?
- You want to change the structure of the U.N. Truly, the U.N. has a very anti-democratic structure. The vetoes of the five countries should be overcome. In this democratic demand of yours, do European leaders support you?
Questions of this tone do not suit journalism. You are journalists. You do not need to butter up the PM. Your duty is to ask questions impartially and without losing your manners. Please don’t forget this.