‘It’s a drift in that direction, yes’
John Bass, who the Obama administration wants to appoint as the new Ambassador to Turkey, has answered questions by senators at the Senate United States Committee on Foreign Relations.
This “Q&A” session is a significant part of Bass’ appointment process and if the senators veto his appointment then President Obama would have to propose another name.
In Burhan Kuzu’s words, “Poor Obamas presidential powers are restricted with such a balance-break mechanism.
And Obama does not say, “I will break down the tutelage of the senators.”
Senator John McCain asked, “Are you concerned about Prime Minister Erdoğan’s desire to change the constitution … and other actions that we’ve seen on the part of Erdoğan as a drift toward authoritarianism?”
When Ambassador Bass tried to beat around the bush with diplomatic words, McCain became frustrated and asked for a “straight forward yes or no answer,” adding, “You are putting your nomination in jeopardy by not answering the question.”
Ambassador Bass indeed could not tell Senator McCain, “You have lost the presidential election against Obama. The President represents the national will, know your place;” and he gave this answer: “It’s a drift in that direction, yes.”
Yes, the Ambassador has given the correct answer; unfortunately, there has been a drift in that direction for a long time; because the prime minister does not believe in the principle of “separation of powers;” he wants all the authority and power to be in his own hands.
To achieve this, he has crushed the independence of the judiciary; he has turned the Supreme Council of Prosecutors and Judges (HSYK) into a general directorate of the Justice Ministry. He rules the majority of the Parliament with a move of his finger; he can even have empty papers signed for his own nomination for presidency.
He has enchained the media thanks to the “pool;” he decides who gets even the smallest state tender; he also runs after “coupon” plots.
He has made so-called constitution professors invent a “Turkish-type presidential system.” He wants the Constitution amended only as such so that he becomes the sole ruler of the country.
Because he has not been able to do all of these things, we cannot indeed yet call him a “dictator” but this situation is defined as “a drift toward authoritarianism” everywhere in the democratic world.
Cause of the refugee problems is the government
The Syrian refugees’ problem is a problem created by the foolish foreign policy of the government. They had based all their calculations on the assumption that Bashar al-Assad was to be toppled soon. The main reasons why this issue has been blown to these proportions:
1- They overlooked the fact that the refugee camps set up near the border became headquarters for the Free Syrian Army. For this reason, civilians could not stay for long in these camps.
2- They never thought that those who came from Syria were not “homogenous,” thus causing the emergence of all kinds of non-uniformity inside the camps. That is another reason why some refugees left the camps or never went there.
3- They opened up the borders for the hope that al-Assad would be toppled soon. They did not control the entries into the country.
4- They could not calculate that the number of refugees would grow this much, thus, camps became inadequate. Those who were seeking shelter went all around the country.
5- Our civilian authorities were extremely late in identifying the refugee problem. Now, nobody knows how many Syrian refugees are here. Because this is not known, there is no possibility to take organized steps to solve this problem.