MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s fears
TARHAN ERDEMNationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli in his press statement Aug. 26 drew a picture of a weak Turkey, introduced the perpetrators of the situation and showed us the way out.
Bahçeli believes “there is an utmost struggle for existence” and that “there are alarming tensions in the sectarian field with the markings of doors.” He also believes that a “shameful game is persistently kept active” in our country. A natural result of this viewpoint is the opinion, “Blows to our bonds of fraternity and every mischievous trap that triggers domestic fights will inflict irreparable damage to our existence in our last land.”
None of the elements that are told as a horrific dream are true; they are sensibilities that should not have surfaced in the first place in an experienced leader.
Turkey is not in a struggle for existence; what is being mentioned are incidents exaggerated with the influence of polarization within political struggle. There is no social cause or reason for a domestic fight in our country. There is also no force to be taken seriously that wants to chase us away from our last land.
For a political party leader to express that he sees his country and nation at such a powerless level can only create annoyance among citizens.
The MHP leader has also explained the causes of the horrific situation he has defined: “wrong policies by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its practices that did not consider our national sensitivities.”
It is a serious slander to say that the people who follow foreign policy, relations with neighbors and terror with caution and curiosity believe that the state is in a struggle for survival. The vast majority does not have such fears; there is no reason to fear.
However, our people are anxious because of hesitations of the AK Party government on the Kurdish issue, in other words what Bahçeli is saying. This anxiety, I’m afraid, will expand and continue.
Bahçeli has a proposal for an amendment to the 83rd article of the Constitution.
According to the current article, with the condition that there is a situation of being caught red-handed and that the investigation was launched before elections, then political immunity of deputies does not apply if there are “activities involving the aim to disrupt the indivisible integrity of the state and aiming to annihilate the democratic and secular republic.”
More precisely, deputies who have committed murder can be caught red-handed and taken into custody. Also, if an investigation has started before elections, then the investigation will continue.
What is proposed disregards the political immunity of an elected deputy, not taking into consideration the principle that an elected deputy cannot be detained or arrested and no search warrant can be issued.
You may find it hard to believe but please take a look at the stories in the papers. According to Bahçeli’s proposal, prosecutors will be able to launch investigations, take the defendant deputy’s testimony and send them to court – those deputies that take part in terror activities or those who support terror. However, the investigation and the trial will be conducted in such a way that it would not obstruct the deputy’s work in Parliament, in other words, the deputy will not be arrested.
Indeed, the office of the Speaker of Parliament will immediately be notified of the situation. The prosecutor will write to the Office of the Speaker of Parliament to inform them that an investigation against deputy A.B. has been launched.
In fact, it is a creepy proposal.
On the other hand, it is based on the present definition of terror. If the definition of terror in current law is to be applied, then this country would go back farther than a primitive community. If each prosecutor is to decide based upon their own definitions, then there would emerge very different “terror” and “assistance” definitions everywhere.
Let’s be thankful that such a proposal being enacted is out of the question. However, I do not want to make an assessment about the fact that a political party leader opened this proposal for public debate.
Tarhan Erdem is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece appeared on August 27. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.
TARHAN ERDEM - email@example.com