A better job, please, for the future of our children

A better job, please, for the future of our children

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said that if the presidential system draft does not pass in parliament, then early elections should be held. He said that if a referendum was to be held in the high-tension environment of today, then terror organizations would take advantage of the situation. 

He is right, but shouldn’t he have seen this at the beginning? The fight against terror has been ongoing since July 2015. 

In recent months, Turkey has been experiencing a very troubled period both with multiple terror attacks and worsening economic indicators. Moreover, this systemic change is an extremely tense issue which should have been avoided amid this agenda, no? 

The fights in the parliament are very ugly. Everybody may see their own side as the justified side, but in the end, the legislative organ of Turkey has produced such an ugly image. 

In order to overcome terror and economic crisis, it is a national duty to give confidence, to give the image and the message to the world that this is a “rationally ruled” country.  

But unfortunately, the polarization that has been ongoing for years does not permit this and the tension experienced due to the system change has further increased concerns. 

This is also a factor in the abnormal hike in the foreign exchange rate. We should all take a step back, stop and think for a while. We should search for a “shared wisdom” with commonsense and conciliatory stances, shouldn’t we? Are our politicians aware of this? Tunisia was able to do it. 

It was about five years ago when I accompanied our 11th president, Abdullah Gül, on a trip to Tunisia. When we saw such a reconciliatory climate and such rational political stances in Tunisia, President Gül said, “They will write their constitution much easier than we will.”

And so it happened. Tunisia wrote its constitution with debates featuring broad participation and with the reconciliation of every wing. It was approved on Feb. 26, 2014. In their 216-seat founding parliament, which included leftists, rightists, secularists and Islamists, 200 members voted affirmatively, with only 12 objections and four abstentions. 

When the constitution is written with conciliation, then the outcome is this positive; a reconciliatory constitution emerges. 

Today, Tunisia is a country that spends its energy on solving its issues, not on fighting. It is a country that is depicted as an example of democracy in the Islamic world. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP are implying to their deputies that if the amendments are not approved in parliament, there will be early elections in April. This is because deputies cannot easily risk an early election. 

Moreover, their re-election is totally dependent on the leader. Now, let us be frank: Forget about broad discussion – a text that was prepared by two lawyers, out of the eyes of the public, was put in front of the deputies; can this be the unifying of all the segments? 

If asking the preference of the nation is so well-adopted, then why are elections to be held every five years according to the new constitution? As a matter of fact, in almost all presidential systems, the presidential and general elections are either held at the same time, or one third of the legislative organ is renewed with elections every two years.   

This is so that the “nation” is not restricted to a choice just every five years. It is so that the changing trends in society can be reflect in the parliament and so that the checks and balances are stronger. 

Thus, in the changes debated in parliament now, there are such certain disproportional aspects that make it hard to prove that this country is being run rationally and that there is a functioning checks-and-balances mechanism. 

Let us stop and take a deep breath; let us ponder, for Turkey, for our country, for the future of our children: “Couldn’t a better job be done?”