Fracture in the Yenikapı spirit

Fracture in the Yenikapı spirit

The decision of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to not attend the ceremony of the opening of the judicial year at the Presidential Palace in Beştepe is one thing, but it would have been much better if the CHP had not returned to its “this palace was built illegally” discourse.  

Of course there will be differences of opinion between the government and the opposition. We cannot expect them to be in total harmony on all matters. 

But there are certain topics where total harmony is required. One of them was to stand absolutely against the coup attempt on July 15. Another was the joint stance against terrorism. 

The question is this: Is holding the opening ceremony of the judicial year at the presidential palace one of them? Is this an issue affecting the perpetuity and future of the country? Is this a topic where they should leave aside all kinds of opinion differences and become one body? 

In my opinion, you can answer this question “yes” or “no.”

The discourse at Istanbul’s Yenikapı Square, when a majority of political parties were united, was a classy example. The issue is to maintain this spirit.  

If it disrupts the Yenikapı spirit, the judicial year ceremony may become an issue of perpetuity. It could well trigger a return to the environment of political clashes that we had before July 15. 

The risk is that this aspect is one that has to be very well taken care of. 

Competition among parties is a fundamental aspect of democracy, but it must not be taken to the level of destructive competition. As we will be entering the election climate from next summer, it is no great prophesy to say the competition will get even fiercer. 

I hope the issues that need to be held above conflicts are not sacrificed to futile polemics. I hope nobody holds their own interests above the Yenikapı spirit. I hope nobody tries to win at the cost of Turkey losing. 

No doubt the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers have a crucial significance, but please let’s not go back to the political atmosphere of July 15. 

Was Efkan Ala too passive? 

The rumor is that the former Interior Minister Efkan Ala was too passive in the struggle against the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).” But this fault can certainly not be attributed to Ala. 

He was extremely bold in the crackdown on the “parallel structure” during the operation against the Dec. 17 and 25 attempts. 

Cabinet reshuffles happen all the time. Nobody is irreplaceable. The new minister Süleyman Soylu will one day hand over his position to somebody else. There was a need for a change and it was done. But if you say that this need arose from Ala being too passive in the fight against FETÖ, or from inadequacy, I would have to reject this.

Photo of collectiveness  

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım recently hosted all former Speakers of Parliament, Prime Ministers and cabinet ministers at Çankaya Mansion. It was more than a friendly get together. It was a symbolic picture of the united policy that predominated after July 15. Sadly, this photo did not find its place on the front pages of newspapers, the place it deserved.