Denying the past 12 years

Denying the past 12 years

Presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Vision Statement underscores three principles: democratic politics, open society and a state of law.

If it were someone that just entered the stage of politics who wrote the statement, that person would get applauded for truly understanding the needs of Turkey’s current state and there would not be anything to say about them.

There are many words in the statement and also in Erdoğan’s speeches that sound appealing.  If we were to believe in those words, then we could have become very hopeful for Turkey’s future, but that was not the case.

If we were to compare what Erdoğan has said to what he has done in these past 12 years regarding where we have come on these three principles, the prevailing sentiment is nothing but pessimism.

The fact that Erdoğan did not accept any questions from the members of press organizations in his well-choreographed announcement of candidacy is a big blow against the principle of “Democracy.”

Let’s put aside how the preference of avoiding to take any questions contradicts with the ideal of an open society.

The level of democracy is proportional to how far parties distance themselves from the tutelage of their leader. But in these 12 years, no regulations were made in these aspects; instead all the amendments in the bylaw of the Justice And Development Party (AKP) about this principle were taken out and replaced by ones that focused on giving more power to the party leader.

A true democracy can only exist if there is an opposing party and mediums of competition for that party to compete equally and freely.

But the promise of democracy coming from someone who  does not mention the names of other opposing candidates, uses the method of undignifying as a medium of challenge , censors the speeches made by the opposition leaders by directly calling TV channel directors, and  blocks the opposition from renting billboards , can only be seen as a joke .

We can say the same things about the ideal of an “open society.”

Because in today’s Turkey, the ruling party blocks the roads every May 1, does not trouble themselves with the children that lost their lives in the Gezi protests and tries to standardize media by using every kind of oppression.

You were all there.

As someone who has written many articles with the headline reading “If there is no law, than there is no bread.” I could hold applause for the ideal of a “state of law.”

But unfortunately, the same ones that “idealize” this principle also admitted the prisons are filled with innocent people that were imprisoned by the “Parallel Structure” that they specifically placed in the law and justice system and again went on and admitted that this same “Parallel Structure” went on to punish innocent people by using secret witnesses, using unbacked allegations and also conspired against the military.

Just yesterday, the justice minister implied that 866 thousand people were unlawfully listened to.

The day Erdoğan made his presidential vision public mentioning these three principles, the Turkish Parliament was talking about enacting two laws.

Restricting lawyers from looking up the legal cases and postponing the application of the court rulings by two years. We can count many more examples, but this in short is what happened:

Erdoğan has resorted to denying the implementations of his 12 years of ruling.