New crimes invented in Turkey
Following the Supreme Election Board’s (YSK) decision that rendered the referendum results controversial, it seems that we will all become experts on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ recalled the decision of the Constitutional Court with the case of Mansur Yavaş, who applied to the court after losing in local elections, saying neither the Constitutional Court nor the ECHR has the jurisdiction to rule on this issue.
This is not an issue you can pull around according to your political leanings. Everyone knows that the decision of the YSK is final. Another truth is that it can’t be brought in front of any other court.
Yet another debate is taking place on an issue that does not require high level of knowledge on law: the right to organize protest meetings and demonstrations.
Ali Demirhan, editor of the website sendika.org, was detained the other day. His office was raided by the police for “trying to show the outcome of the voting as illegitimate by organizing demonstrations via social media as well as inciting hatred among people and insulting a public official.”
A new crime has been invented: “Trying to show that the outcome of the vote is not legitimate.”
I am really curious where in our laws this crime is written.
This is restricting the expression of thought. They have also invented a crime in the lines of “organizing demonstrations.”
These actions are a part of expressing freedom of thought - as long as they do not resort to violence. Inventing such crimes poses big threat to the future of our democracy. Obstructing exercising rights, which are under the guarantee of the ECHR, and the rulings of the judiciary by inventing accusations means eliminating totally democracy in this country.
We had hit the road for a constitution based on wide consensus, but have come to the point of a police state!
Best customer in the world
Import taxes on white beans and red peppers have been eliminated, after a similar decision on chickpeas and red meat in order to drop the rise in inflation due to the increase in food prices.
I am setting aside the fact that the tax reduction in chickpea has not affected the prices.
This decision will inevitably affect Turkey’s agricultural protection and will no doubt decrease it.
While aiming at taking control of food prices, the source of livelihood for farmers is being destroyed. Just during the tenure of this government the drop in chickpea production reached 200 tons.
This is not because farmers are greedy. Producers who cannot reflect the rise in the input of agricultural production to the prices give up on producing. This is that simple.
Instead of making cosmetic changes to inflation by temporary measures, incentives that will appease the producers need to be introduced so that farmers can make a living and increase production. When I was young, it was reputed that Turkey would become the “grocery store of the Middle East,” exporting meat and vegetables to the region.
We used to be proud that we were self-sufficient in terms of agricultural production, underlining the fact that we are among such few countries.
After years of pursuing wrong policies, let alone being a provider, we have ourselves become the best customers.
The government needs to see this reality and ponder increasing agricultural production for the medium and long term.