Inappropriate rhetoric from the president

Inappropriate rhetoric from the president

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) executives “clowns.” For the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), he uttered the statement, “Their name is social democrat but they are themselves fascists.” The other day, he said, “They are ignoble,” about certain columnists. 

If these words were uttered by an ordinary citizen about other people, they would at least be sued for insulting. Who knows, maybe the insulted ones happen to be equally impolite and respond with similar words. In that case, the court would drop the case on grounds that “both sides have insulted each other.”

However, the president has a separate place in our laws. If those people who were the target of these words used the same words for the president, they would hastily be taken in front of the judge of the Criminal Court of Peace. And, like many others who were brought to court for insulting the president, they would have been arrested and sent to jail. 

In other words, there is an unbalanced, unequal relationship here. 

As a matter of fact, one should not insult the president because his is the office or position that represents the unity of the nation and state. 

The respect attributed to that office and position is, at the same time, the consequence of the respect one has for one’s own self. 

The president should act with the awareness of this; he has to select his words much more carefully because of this reason. 

Insulting a person who is in no position to respond to you is not proper. 

It is not manly or gentlemanly. 

I do not expect any more for President Erdoğan to comply with his impartiality oath; I know this is an empty expectation, but at least he should choose his words carefully so they are not “disgraceful.”

Red Book is not chosen over laws 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the National Security Council (MGK) decision has introduced the definition, “illegal terror organizations under a legal image” about the Fethullah Gülen community; he added this would go into the “Red Book.” 

He went on: “Once it [the new definition] is in the Red Book, then the view of the judicial authorities will change because it is associated with national security.”

Under a normal rule of law, the judicial authorities take into account these components: The constitution, international treaties, international court verdicts, practice of the high courts, laws, regulation, etc.  

Judicial authorities (in other words, prosecutors and judges) take only these into account in their cases.  

They review the evidence in the file, listen to the defense, then look at the laws and rule accordingly. If they are influenced by other things while they are making a decision, then we cannot talk about rule of law or a just trial. 

What is defined in the “Red Book” is not law. It is an administrative decision and it does not bind judicial authorities. 

If judges and prosecutors feel that they are bound by such a text that is supposedly above the constitution and its laws, then there is no legal security of the citizens.

There is one meaning to this: Whoever gets ahold of the state wants his or her own ideology to be forcefully accepted by the society. 

If you are not at peace with this ideology, anything can happen to you; this is how it goes in dictatorships. Moreover, the “Red Book” is a highly confidential text. 

If the judiciary feels bound by such a secret text that nobody knows, then it means that the justice system has totally collapsed; it has become arbitrary. 

If the “Gülen community” has become an organization like a state within the state and has made institutions dysfunctional, what needs to be done against it is certain: Prosecutors would collect evidence, defendants would defend themselves, judges would listen to them, look at laws, and make their decisions, responsible only to their own consciences. 

If the opposite is happening; if confidential administrative texts climb over the constitution and laws and become an item that must be taken into consideration by the judiciary, then this is a dictatorship.