Insistence on the presidential system may ruin the process

Insistence on the presidential system may ruin the process

The appointment of the wise people is a new phase in the Kurdish issue. These wise people should exert all their efforts to comforting those who have concerns.

For this reason, it is a sign of danger that some people are trying to portray those who do not contribute to the process as if they were the killers of the 40,000 lives.

The wise people should accept the fact that they should leave aside berating the opposition and praising the Justice and Development Party, that the process will be conducted through the AKP and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) will remain outside the process and that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will get tougher.

At this point, those who constantly criticize the CHP and terrorize them should see that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not want the least little bit of contribution from that party.

The most obvious proof of this that I have witnessed is in Erdoğan’s style.

Simile for the opposition

As you know, the BDP members, who Erdoğan had slandered by calling them “bloody handed” to lift their immunities, have transformed into being Erdoğan’s favorites in the last two months.

Indeed, this is a positive situation but when it comes to the MHP and the CHP, he makes no bones about it.
On Tuesday of the week before, Erdoğan deemed the word “rampaging” suitable for both parties. Last Tuesday when President Abdullah Gül asked the CHP to join the process, Erdoğan mentioned the “foam at their mouths;” next day he pointed to their treason and yesterday he went as far as implying they were dogs saying, “Whatever they say the caravan will go on.”

Attacking the CHP without seeing the meaning and the intention behind this discourse would not be fair, just as the CHP’s stance today can be considered a gain for the process.

There is no surprise at the position of the MHP.

The name that will determine the success or the failure of the process is Erdoğan himself.

Even if we ignore the warnings coming from the Çankaya Presidential Mansion, even though we are not sure whether anyone is left in the Cabinet to bring up the issue from that angle, Erdoğan must absolutely know that even within the AKP there are those who have concerns because of him.

Leaving aside the style, certain AKP members also hold the perception that the peace process is based on the negotiation of the presidential system and they are pretty upset it.

This perception, which is regarded as a sign of having left behind the approach based on equal and democratic citizenship, looks as if it will make the persuasion process of the society more difficult.


In such a process, Erdoğan’s mention of the transfer to a state system is a serious derailment; at least it is bad timing to mention this subject when significant autonomies were introduced to local governments.

Especially, this mention was made knowing that the BDP’s constitution proposal would contain it.

It also does not seem correct that Erdoğan has based this discourse of his on the Ottoman’s, which had a vast empire and a strict centralized administration, granting status of state to certain regions to facilitate administration.

When the prime minister cited the examples of Lazistan and Kurdistan for Turkey, which is a small country compared to the Ottomans, he shot the arrow directly at the hearts.

Not long ago, only five years ago, Erdoğan was complaining that the president had excess powers; the persistence of the same Erdoğan on the presidential system has blocked the writing process of the new Constitution.

After the block, the fact that Erdoğan gave signs of making the constitution with the BDP has also seriously confused some minds in his own party.

What I understand is that certain people within the AKP may have a different reflex against writing the Constitution together with the BDP.

For this reason, if the new Constitution is to facilitate the solution of the Kurdish issue, then it could be logical to put aside the presidential system.

Şükrü Küçükşahin is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece appeared on April 8. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.