Why not correct ‘the fault’ in the system?
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently said, “With the presidential system this multi-headedness will come to an end.” He then uttered another sentence revealing his understanding of “multi-headedness”: “Most of what is going on in parliament will not happen anymore. All of this multi-headedness, all of these obstructions will be abolished.”
The meaning behind the president’s sentences is clear: When the president becomes “the president in the presidential system,” there will be no need for a parliament. There will be no need for debates, talks and conciliation in parliament. Whatever the president wants will happen. Everybody else will shut up.
We already knew this. In the order he has described as the “Turkish-type presidential system,” the country will be ruled by presidential decrees. Whatever the president says will be the law; there will be no judicial control.
At the same time, he keeps saying, “An elected person cannot be a dictator.”
This is not to make an analogy, God forbid, but we know that on the contrary it can indeed happen. Hitler was also elected.
Elections are not the only way to prevent authoritarian one-man rule, or the election of a president by popular vote.
A parliament should also be elected, conducting legislative duties in the name of the people, making laws, checking the president’s acts and operations, preparing the budget, and questioning expenditures.
But even this is not enough. There should also be an independent judicial arm to protect the rights of the citizens and monitor the administration’s operations.
President Erdoğan says, “We are sick and tired of the faults in the system; we cannot continue with this faulty system.”
We know the faults within the current system.
The parliament cannot conduct its legislative duty independent of the executive arm. There is one obvious way to achieve this: Preparing a democratic political party’s law and an election law so deputies do not have to be dependent on their leaders.
The judiciary should be made independent; the executive power should be transparent and accountable. The powers of the president should be reduced; the executive power should be kept from self-guarding. And a major part of this can be done by only making laws, without changing the constitution.
But Erdoğan does not want to correct the fault. He wants one-man rule.
Statistics or health?
Meanwhile, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has announced that 33 Turkish citizens have died of swine flu. This figure is probably rising as you read this piece.
The Health Ministry has issued statements on this topic too, but when he speaks Müezzinoğlu sounds like the head of a statistical agency rather than a health minister.
He gives us figures: how many people are currently infected with the flu, how many have had the flu, how many have died, etc. But nobody tells us where we can get free vaccinations, and which symptoms we need to watch out for.
In the previous epidemic, then Prime Minister Erdoğan said he was against vaccinations. Could it be that the Health Ministry is now avoiding this subject due to Erdoğan’s “scientific explanations and theories” on the matter?
How many more people need to die before the ministry remembers its primary mission?