What if someone you do not want is elected?
A former Turkish judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Rıza Türmen, wrote a piece titled “A 10-question guide to evaluate the constitution,” for the news website t24.com.tr, where he refers to a distinction German jurist Carl Schmitt has made between constitutions as “resilient to dictatorships and non-resilient to dictatorships.”
We know that a normal politician does not set out saying “I will become a dictator.” If you ask those politicians that we know are dictators in the world today, they will reject it.
I don’t think anybody in our country has such a demand, however using the powers granted to him or her may bear such results. The tool to prevent this is the framework drawn by the constitution.
With the constitutional amendments, a “one man” will be at the head of the executive as the president. As the chair of his or her political party and the leader of the majority in parliament, he or she will rule the parliament. The president will alone select the members of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors. The ones he has selected will select other high court and normal court judges and prosecutors. Thus, this “one man” will be heading the judiciary too.
When one person controls the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, we call that order an “autocracy.” This word comes from “autokrates” from ancient Greek. “Autos” means self and “Krates” means powerful. Autocrat means a person who solely uses the power to rule.
If the constitutional changes are approved, we do not know from today who will be winning the 2019 elections. But we know one thing, and that is that with these powers we will be creating an autocrat.
Read the constitutional changes. Do you or don’t you want these powers in the hands of a person who has very contrary political views to you?
This is the essential question to be answered when voting.
Individuality of crime and punishment
Many employees at the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Kayapınar district’s municipality have removed from duty. According to the statement issued by the trustee appointed by the government: “We have determined about 390 people. All of them are family or kin to those who are on the mountains or who have fought against security forces. They have infiltrated to all units of the municipality.”
When I read this statement, I could not help but think that the trustee did not know the essential concepts of the law, the Turkish constitution and the penal code.
A universal law rule is that crime and punishment are individual. The person who has committed a crime is responsible for his or her act. His or her relatives, friends and children cannot be punished for this reason.
Nobody can be held responsible for somebody else’s crime.
Another universal rule is that there is to be no crime and no penalty without a written law. These universal rules are in our constitution and in our penal code.
Nobody would oppose the penalties imposed on those who were involved with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) actions that have claimed numerous lives and damage to this country. But it should not be forgotten that the legitimacy of fighting against the PKK is based on the state abiding by the laws and providing equal laws to everybody.
Apparently, the trustee at the municipality has been affected by the fact that the state of emergency decrees is neglecting this basic fact.
Law is an essential pillar in a country. Pushing this pillar would damage the state that you are trying to protect.