Do politicians do their job?
Veteran politician, Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek was expecting all sorts of criticisms against his anti-terror manifesto, but had hardly supposed the government spokesman would describe it as a “memorandum” issued against the government.
“The government is not the counterpart of this text,” deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told reporters late Monday, hours after Çiçek announced his 11-article “National Consensus against Terror” text. “We will ask him the aim of the esteemed speaker when we meet,” he added, without hiding his and his government’s reaction against the initiative of the country’s second most powerful person.
Çiçek surely calculated what reactions he could draw from the political parties with his text, which is why he said Monday: “[Some may] call my initiative futile, irrelevant, wrong and imperfect. If others want to do anything against terrorism, this is the time to act. We all may have done things wrong [in the fight against terrorism] in the past. But we should not get hung up on this. We now have to be able to develop a new manner, a new language and a new coming together.”
Though Arınç said he had no problem with the content of Çiçek’s text, which calls for all political parties to put aside their political differences and sit around the same table to produce a common vision for the solution of the growing terror problem, he made it clear that he was not happy to see Çiçek’s attempt to steal the government’s role.
Of course, a number of questions can be raised to Çiçek. Why, for example, did he not call the Parliament for an extraordinary session in line with article seven of the Parliament’s internal regulation? Or why did he not chair the Parliament’s general assembly on Aug. 14 upon the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) call for an extraordinary session?
Çiçek’s call reflects the people’s expectation from the politicians in the wake of the deadly terrorist attack that killed nine in Gaziantep. In fact, CHP’s Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu made just such an attempt months ago before the PKK’s attacks were as frequent and deadly as they are now. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded positively to Kılıçdaroğlu’s attempt to set up an interparty mechanism to deal with the issue, but faced with resistance from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) is simply playing its own game at the expense of garnering more reactions from the people and other political parties.
Given the current picture, politics as an institution is far from being able to create political means to end the terror problem and eventually solve the Kurdish question. The only thing that still gives people hope is the new constitution, although this process is still very fragile.
Çiçek confessed that the process is behind schedule and urged all parties to take steps to move forward. “Those who attempt to slow down the process will make the worst thing for Turkey.” This is really the time for Turkish politicians to think twice if they want to make some useful actions for this country.