Organized matters in the media

Organized matters in the media

Aydın Doğan, the honorary chairman of the Doğan Group, and Ersin Özince, the head of the İş Bank executive committee, have allegedly formed an “organized crime body” to carry out certain operations of Petrol Ofisi, a fuel distributor once owned by Doğan Holding before all of its shares were sold to Austria’s OMV in 2010. 

This is what the office of the prosecutor claims. 

Because I work in the Doğan Group, naturally my friends and acquaintances are asking me, “How far can this go?”

My reply is: “If there is still rule of law in Turkey, if there are laws, nothing will happen.” 

In penal law, there is an important concept. It is universal and as old as Roman law. Its Latin version is cool, let me write it first, maybe the prosecutor would take a note of it:  Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege. It means there are no punishments or crimes without law.

The prosecutor in the Petrol Ofisi case is referring to people “who formed an organized crime ring to forge documents so that they can evade a tax that does not exist.”   

The fact is in Turkey there is a tax exemption for oil imports regardless of their origin. The value added tax, as everybody knows, is paid by whoever is finally filling gas into their vehicle.  

If they formed an organized crime ring to forge documents to evade a tax that does not exist, then these people should not be in court, they should actually be in a mental institution.  

Is it possible that the prosecutor does not know this? I absolutely don’t think so; this is out of the question.
Could it be possible the court judges who accepted the indictment do not know of this situation? No, that is not possible either. 

Well, how then was such a case opened?  

It was able to be opened because the real aim was to intimidate Aydın Doğan so that he abandons his newspapers or fires all of us. It was not enough that they have captured the entire media; they have set their eyes on the papers of the Doğan Group. This is because they cannot tolerate different voices. 

For this reason, they want to apply pressure, harass and discredit with such fictitious cases. 

One of them orders; the other one obeys. As mentioned, these are all “organized” matters. 

Constitution of an ‘elected king’ 

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said justice would be completely redefined in the new constitution. He said, “What the Constitutional Court has done is not using the sovereignty of the nation. What the courts do is to dispense justice. The nation, on the other hand, uses sovereignty through the representatives it has elected. No sovereignty independent of the national will can be imagined.”

It is unthinkable that a person as educated as the prime minister, who has even become a professor, does not know what the concept of “sovereignty” covers. This, before anything else, contains the power of lawmaking and executing laws. In the past, kings used to do this alone; the person who set the rules also punished the ones who did not abide by the rules. 

Since the Magna Carta in 1215, the situation has changed. In this document, which restricted the powers of the king in England and expanded the freedom of the people, there was a clause which read: “No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”

This is the clause that has enabled us to reach the constitutional democracy concept of today. This is how the usage of sovereignty by different organs in the name of the people has developed. 

Now, it seems as if the desire to adjust everything to a “Turkish-style president” has given the prime minister the idea to move history backward. 

Can they do it? No doubt, they can do it. When they reach a quorum, they can have this written in the constitution. 

The prime minister should only think this: A constitution tailor-made today for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will pass into other hands tomorrow. Humankind is mortal and no politician wins elections till the end of their lives. 

If there are any legal experts left in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), they should explain the possible consequences of this to the prime minister.