Top court is responsible for recent decree law troubles in Turkey: CHP leader
Deniz Zeyrek - ANKARA
Turkey’s Constitutional Court is responsible for the latest crisis that Turkey is in, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, fiercely criticizing the latest state of emergency decrees bypassing parliamentary and constitutional rule.
“The main responsibility of ignoring the parliament and the constitution lies with the members of Constitutional Court,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Dec. 25.
His comments came after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) issued two more state of emergency decrees on Dec. 24, bringing about extensive regulations such as changing the configuration of top judicial bodies, closing regulatory authorities, transferring Vakıfbank’s shares to the treasury and granting impunity to civilians who took part in thwarting the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
Kılıçdaroğlu said the decree laws should be limited to state of emergency measures only.
“The members of the Constitutional Court should tell us what relation the state of emergency has with regulations concerning Vakıfbank, the Sugar Authority and Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
He said the decrees disregard the parliament’s authority.
“It is the parliamentary speaker who should have raised concerns about this. But he is staying silent. Because he owes his seat to the palace,” he said, referring the presidential palace.
He criticized the decree for changing the configuration of the State of Council and the Supreme Court.
“They are steps taking over the judiciary. They are making it with the methods used by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization [FETÖ],” he said, arguing that FETÖ had infiltrated state institutions with the same methods.
“They are trying to make the judiciary the backyard of the ruling party. Because they are building a legal system that would protect them,” he said, adding that it reminded him of the Sept. 12, 1980, coup d’état in Turkey.
“The only difference is that they do not have epaulets,” he said.
Saying that the decree annexes law on the state of emergency procedures by exempting from criminal accountability civilians who fought against the July 15, 2016, coup attempt on the night and the following “incidents of terror,” Kılıçdaroğlu warned there could be future lynch incidents.
“On the night of July 15, unranked soldiers of the military were lynched. What was their fault? They were only obeying the order,” he said.
He stated that he brought up the issue at a parliament discussion, and the government officials had agreed to investigate the “lynch incidents.”
“They did not keep their promises, and now they are giving immunity to the perpetrators of that lynch. In other words, they are giving amnesty. And this is against the constitution,” he said, adding that the authority to grant amnesty to criminals is under parliament’s jurisdiction.
“For such amnesty, there should be qualified majority voting in parliament. They are granting amnesty with a statutory decree,” he said.
He also stated that the regulation creates a legal loophole in which “people were announced as terrorist without any judicial decision.”
“If somebody kills those people on grounds that they were terrorists, will that person be exempt from liability?” he asked.
“If that is the case, then it will mean that the state will be transferring its security to underground organizations. You cannot surrender the state’s security to a backyard structure. It not unreasonable, it is even worse than that,” he added.