Reasons for becoming authoritarian
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is regarding criticisms against him as “insults and disrespectfulness.” It no longer matters for him in which style the criticism is worded. He is under the influence of a mentality that says “If you criticize, then you are being disrespectful.”
He says this, “Nobody has the right to be disrespectful to the elected prime minister of this country.” Actually, when you read the speech in question, you see that there is no disrespect or any word that could be considered an insult. And then he completes his words by “Form your own political party, get rid of the robe and come…”
His first problem is that he perceives criticism as disrespect and insulting; his second problem is he sees politics as business only politicians can do in some kind of an elitist mentality. This is the natural extension of the mentality that minimizes democracy to elections only.
We have been explaining for years that democracy is not only elections, but pluralism, the right to organize to defend your rights and freedom of expression are also complementing the content of this concept, but he persists on not listening and not understanding.
In this framework, he indeed does not respect the right for nongovernmental organizations to voice their concerns for the fundamental issues of this country. For him, there is only one way to do politics: Found your own party and enter the elections. If you win, you can do anything you want; if you do not win, sit down and keep quiet.
Because of this extremely shallow understanding of democracy he is becoming increasingly authoritarian, non-tolerant toward criticisms and he expects everybody to stand still at attention before him.
When viewed from this angle, instead of the “tutelage regime” he claims to have torn apart, he has put himself in place of the military. The guardian changes, but the system does not change!
Unaccountable Prime Ministry system
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, about the presidential elections, said “Whoever is elected becomes the de facto president [of a presidential system].”
It looks as if that if he becomes the first president elected by popular vote, then he is extremely determined to push the Constitutional boundaries and re-design the system according to his self.
If he is elected president of the Republic, then the powers he will have are written in the Constitution.
The duty of the “Head of the execution” is symbolic because presidents are not accountable for their acts and functions; however, the prime minister is accountable for all functions. Unaccountable execution is only possible in dictatorships; never in democracies.
When each individual in the country, elected or appointed, stays within the written boundaries of the Constitution, then there will be no problem or this will not drive the country into an ungovernable state.
However, now it has become quite obvious that if Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is elected president, then he will also assume the “role of a president in a presidential system,” but who will not be held accountable to anybody for anything.
Pushing the constitutional boundaries will sooner or later drive the country into an ungovernable situation.
Let us see, how many people from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will come out, who will be able to object to this crazy project? How many people with wisdom will step forward and oppose to it, considering the future of the country?