Debates on the constitutional amendments have started in parliament. Surveys have shown that 36 percent of citizens who will vote in a possible referendum have “no information” about the constitutional change. The rate of those who say they have “very little” knowledge is 28 percent and those who say they have “a little” knowledge total 14 percent.
In other words, 78 percent of our population do not know what the amendments proposed will mean for this country. The voters don’t know, but do the deputies know any more? How many of the deputies who have signed blank pieces of paper without knowing what the changes entail know exactly what will happen?
If these changes are accepted in parliament and a subsequent referendum, then the Republic of Turkey will transform into a one-party state.
We will go into an era when the separation of powers will completely end, where the legislative, executive and judiciary will belong to one person, the president. Parliament will totally give up its powers to exert oversight and ask questions. They will see the faces of cabinet ministers once during the taking of oaths, and they will not be able to hold them to account again.
The country will be run by decrees issued by the president. In the majority of the Constitutional Court, the Council of Judges and Prosecutors and high courts, one person will determine everything.
When the president declares a state of emergency, he will be able to issue decrees in those fields where regulation by laws are required; he or she will run the country without any need for a parliament.
We are going toward a regime change, are you aware of that?
What we expect from our deputies is that they act with the awareness of this as debates continue. Are we expecting so much? Wishing Bahçeli would explain his sudden turn
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chair Devlet Bahçeli spoke at his party’s group parliamentary meeting on Jan. 20, 2015. “Erdoğan’s executive presidential wish, his ambition is totally against the parliamentarian system, in other words, the current state order. Erdoğan seems to have told the outlawed PKK
and separatist circles ‘You have your autonomy; you give me the executive presidency.’ Erdoğan is pressing to become one man, and he is playing his last cards,” he said.
In a rally on May 9, 2015, he said: “The presidential system means federation and this will take Turkey to separation. The Erdoğan-style presidential system is the recipe for Turkey’s separation. It is the death order for democracy.”
He spoke at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Jan. 5, 2016: “The Nationalist Movement Party is totally against the presidential system; it supports the revision and strengthening of the parliamentarian system.”
In another party group meeting on May 26, 2016, he said: “It is known that the presidential system or a system in which the president is affiliated to a political party will exert an extreme cost in the future.
The Republic of Turkey is the work of the Turkish nation. No sane person has ever witnessed that the nation has ever opted for a presidential system.
There is no support or a contribution whatsoever from us for the presidential system or a system in which the president is affiliated to a political party.”
A video recording of these words are on YouTube; I am quoting from there. Those who wish to listen to it from Bahçeli’s own voice can find this video in YouTube after a search under the name “1 Devlet hem de 5 Bahçeli.”
We know that Bahçeli recently said his party would vote affirmatively on a system in which the president will be affiliated to a political party both in a parliamentary vote and in a referendum.
Maybe during the constitutional change debates in parliament, he will be able to explain to us how he came to adopt such a totally contrary position so suddenly.