Rather belated proclamations

Rather belated proclamations

The cry of the Head of the Constitutional Court Haşim Kılıç of, “Justice will be finished if it continues this way,” has functioned like a new litmus paper in Turkey.

The government, which was regarding the liberals as brothers as long as they were defending their own freedom, has declared them “bad” when they referred to the freedoms of “others.” The “friendly” members of the judiciary they regarded as king as long as they were defending their own rights were taken to the garbage of history in no time by those in power when they said “justice was for everybody.”

Well, it is open and out there how the 11-year-old happy marriage with the Gülen Community ended in such animosity.

It has been another litmus test and the result is that the government started crying “he has beaten us; he has slapped us” upon Kılıç’s statements, whereas the government has beaten anyone who got in his way three times a day, all of its public power.

As a matter of fact, Kılıç’s statements are quite belated declarations. 

The reason for this is that in the past year, there have been numerous violations of law and the Constitution; there have been several judicial decisions that were not applied. Many judges, prosecutors and judicial police have been reassigned and subject to threats because they were investigating, but not one word has come from the supreme court or the Supreme Court of Appeals (Yargıtay). Not even any encouraging words, such as “Prosecutors should investigate these claims…”

I have written this before; the Constitutional Court, even though it was obvious that the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) Law was against the Constitution, by postponing the annulment decision to after the elections has prevented the public’s right to know.

Strong criticisms of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the spokespeople of the government against the judiciary as “the nuisance of justice” were treated as if it has not been heard.

The issue was not restricted to the supreme justice either; the strongest nongovernmental organizations of the country buried their heads in the sand before all of the violations of law, justice and the Constitution.

This stance of the supreme courts and the NGOs minimized the unlawfulness issues into a regular discourse of the opposition parties and prevented the formation of a strong public opinion.

Make way, loyalty is coming

While all of these were being experienced, after all, the early birds caught the worms, for those who have not adopted any stance, then to come out and make proclamations does not give any confidence; it creates a credibility issue. 

For instance, the heads of the NGOs who have kept quiet through all what has been experienced have started touring political leaders after the elections, making a call for “the softening of the political style.” The response of the opposition was this: “The reason for the tension in the country is the prime minister, but you have not directed even one criticism against him. On the contrary, you have issued written ads on papers and rented billboards praising the prime minister before the elections, with the money actually collected from public servants and workers.”  

Moreover, when these NGO heads said they had not paid for these ads, they heard this from the opposition leaders:

 “Well, that means you have allowed the name of your organization to be used; that is actually a worse situation, a severe situation. As a matter of fact, governments need criticism, not praise. You have adopted a stance just the contrary of that. You have failed to defend the rule of law. You have failed to defend the rights of your members.”

Despite these criticisms, we saw on the April 23 reception that heads of NGOs were continuing to walk on their chosen path. We were even able to observe one of them. He grabbed the arm of one of his executives who was heard to have restrained relations with the government recently and pulled him through the crowd approaching all the way to Prime Minister Erdoğan. 

He put his hand on his heart and said, “Dear prime minister, we are fully supporting you.”
Even though his executive did not say a word, the message was delivered.

Where one would go with these NGOs, I really don’t now, but in a country where the “friends” of the government can be made “enemies” in any minute, I guess there is no need to remind of the reality that “justice is bread; justice is freedom and everybody needs it” while there are so many current examples.