Presidential system bears no relation to peace
Sometimes peace is made between the victors and the defeated; sometimes between those who were unable to defeat each other.
If the process in Turkey, which has not yet begun, ends successfully, this peace will be the peace of those who were not able to obtain the adequate supremacy to dictate its own command to the opponent in war. Not a peace imposed on the loser by the winner…
The worst peace is better than war but the peace of those who were unable to defeat each other is even better; because this peace is based on agreements, compromise and mutual self-sacrifice. There is no perfect peace; each peace brings its own problems. A good peace, in other words a lasting and just peace, is one that together offers the tools to manage, on an equitable basis, the problems it would create. We desire the Kurdish peace in Turkey to be a good peace for every segment of this society. The only way to this is to walk toward peace with a stance strengthening democracy and freedoms.
However, this is not happening.
The powerful today, which has won the power struggle against the former regime, is trying to include the imposition of the “presidential system” which is product the ugly logic of that struggle that could be summed up as “the winner takes it all” as an exchange tool in the Kurdish peace equation.
And this stance does not mean anything but poisoning the peace process with an external chemical.
The imposition of the presidential system has nothing to do, repeat nothing, with the solution to the Kurdish issue. There is no necessity either. Especially the presidential system, the one that Prime Minister Erdoğan desires, where the separation of powers is totally eliminated and where the entire power is absolutized by being collected in one person cannot be a natural part of the peace and solution, or a prerequisite to it.
Thus, this presidential system should not be the outcome of peace and solution.
I am writing all of this because this “presidential system” has entered as a negotiation component in the letters by Abdullah Öcalan containing “road maps” sent to Kandil, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Europe.
It was columnist Hasan Cemal who wrote this fact in his column last Tuesday. Then we read more details at Rifat Başaran’s story yesterday at daily Radikal. The story said: “Öcalan has expressed in his letter that the presidential system could be debated. He has also voiced his concern about AK Party’s (Justice and Development Party) transforming this system into a hegemonic structure. Öcalan has stated that the presidential system could be structured over two pillars with a senate and a chamber where every segment is represented.”
The related paragraph ends with this sentence: “It seems as if the government’s promise of a new constitution by the end of the year has persuaded Öcalan.”
If this is true, we can draw a conclusion from these stories that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has already made the early negotiation of the presidential system with Öcalan at his office in İmralı; however, Öcalan has not been fully convinced of this system; he suggests modifications.
Look what the BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said last Saturday: “It is being said that there was a compromise on the constitution, that it was agreed upon after talks. All of this are scenarios written by the press. We have not sat down with the Ak Party government and its executives and agreed upon anything. We trust Mr. Öcalan.”
Maybe they have not themselves sat down and talked about the presidential system, but, here it is: Öcalan has already talked to government representatives. Besides, it is absolutely correct: It was a scenario. I had named it as a “scenario” and written it here weeks before. (Erdoğan’s only scenario – Jan. 10, 2013)
We wish peace arrives as soon as possible; however it should be known that a presidential system that would deprive Kurds from having a say on Turkey’s management forever will not serve Turks or Kurds.
Kadri Gürsel is a columnist for daily Milliyet in which this piece was published on Feb. 28. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.