Discussing powers granted by Turkey’s referendum
Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev recently appointed his wife as the country’s first ever vice-president. His elected colleagues greeted this decision with a standing ovation.
Aliyev won 87 percent of the vote at the last election. He is seen as a “secular” statesman and his wife Mihriban Aliyeva is a modern woman who has dedicated herself to social matters.
If the “secular” Aliyev is able to do this after winning 87 percent of the votes, just imagine what Kenan Evren could have done after the 1982 constitution was approved in Turkey with 92 percent of the vote. However, Evren did not get rid of the parliamentary system, he only later made himself president - limited in the constitution he wrote at one term. He retired after a seven-year term and years later was taken to court.
When you look at these two situations, do you have the same thoughts as me?
A “civilian” authoritarian leader can appoint his wife after winning 87 percent in an election one country, while in another country a strong leader who has led a military coup insists on keeping the parliamentary system and leaves his seat even after having his constitution approved by 92 percent of voters.
Is this the most important difference between the “Turkish-type presidential regimes” of the various Turkic republics and Turkey’s 94-year-old republic and 67-year-old universal parliamentary system?
I have another cheeky question: If in one country 87 percent of the votes are enough to gather all powers in one household and in two persons, what is the percentage of votes necessary in another country to gather all powers in one household and one person?
Why is my friend prisoned?
Now, imagine a country where these three incidents occur on the same day:
The first one occurred in the morning in Ankara. The prime minister was meeting the representatives of leading media organizations and he told them the following: “We have set the threshold as the Dec. 17-25, 2013 [corruption investigations]. It is not correct to condemn those affiliated with the Fethullah Gülen community before that date, but those who participated in their activities after then are potentially guilty.”
The second incident occurred at noon in Istanbul. The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office sent his indictment on the July 15, 2016 coup attempt to the 14th High Criminal Court. In the indictment, the Doğan Group, which owns daily Hürriyet among others, is included as one of those harmed by the crime, one of the coup victims.
The third incident occurred in the afternoon in Istanbul. The prosecutor’s office submitted its one-person indictment on the Doğan Media Group’s Ankara representative Barbaros Muratoğlu to the 13th High Criminal Court. He is accused of being a member of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
The only evidence against him is that he had a photograph taken together with Fethullah Gülen in Pennsylvania. That photo was taken before Dec. 17-25, 2013. In fact, there are representatives of three pro-government newspapers in the same picture.
This means that the prime minister and the prosecutor of the main case of the coup attempt have, on the same day, refuted the indictment against our friend.
Don’t I have the right to ask, as a person who worked with Barbaros Muratoğlu for years, that if the prime minister says this and the prosecutor of the main FETÖ case declares us as victims, why is my friend still being held in prison?