Turkey’s ‘democracy crisis’ has grown with state of emergency: Former ECHR judge
Zeynep Bilgehan - ISTANBULTurkey’s existing “democracy crisis” has been exacerbated by the ongoing state of emergency in the aftermath of the failed July 15 military coup attempt, former European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judge Rıza Türmen has said.
“Turkey is experiencing a major democracy crisis. The already existing democracy crisis has grown during the state of emergency period,” Türmen, who is also a former deputy for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said at an event in Istanbul.
“The crisis existed before July 15 but it got even deeper after it. The crisis has gained new dimensions during the state of emergency. Today’s Turkey is one where war, violence and oppression predominate. There is a push to build a society with religious references and where power is in one single hand,” he added, commenting on government measures taken after the coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Addressing the debate regarding a shift to an executive presidential system, as demanded by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Türmen said such a change would only “provide the basis for authoritarian dictatorship.”
“We are defending the state of law, basic rights and freedoms for humans to live like humans. Our aim is to provide unity in differences,” he added.