Cui bono? Who benefits?
The excessively braggart, over confident and obsessively majoritarianist ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will vote in Parliament today a draft consolidating imperial powers of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is recovering nowadays at his Istanbul mansion from a second and last operation on his digestive system.
“Even Pargalı [the legendary Greek-convert chief vizier of Suleiman the Magnificent] did not have such powers” is how an opposition deputy described the powers the draft law would give to Erdoğan, with some imagination and witty exaggeration. Excluding the sultans, a chief executive indeed never obtained such vast power of singlehandedly deciding which top bureaucrat should give an account of his wrong deeds in front of a court and which would not.
Since the time of Marcus Tullius Cicero, it has become a rule in criminal investigation to ask first “Cui bono?” or “To whose benefit?” Obviously, the issue at hand has some alleged criminality connection but at least this writer would not dare to attribute any criminality for now to the ever-powerful prime minister of the country. Yet, the “To whose benefit?” question must be asked by every member of Parliament today before casting her/his vote on the draft as such a legislation will not definitely be a contribution to the notion of justice, compatible at all with constitutional and universal principles of equality of all in front of law and the accountability in governance principle of democratic governance.
A prime minister, any prime minister, acquiring such vast power, might perhaps be compatible with a Saddamist regime or to the arbitrary Ghadafi-style rule of yesterday’s Libya. Did Adolf Hitler have such powers? Probably he possessed. But, is there one single example anywhere in the democratic society of nations where put aside the prime ministers, presidents, kings or queens who enjoy such a power?
A senior executive of the ruling AKP, touring TV stations in an effort to explain to the Turkish public for what great benefits the ruling party with a majoritarianist understanding in full conformity with the allegiance culture of political Islam wanted the premier to acquire such a power, said neither the current nor future premiers would exploit that power. He assured the nation the power would not be misused. What an assurance! In democracies assurances are embedded in constitutions, laws and regulations rather than lofty remarks made by individuals.
The prosecutors invited the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and some other spies to testify after in the investigation they came across five protocols allegedly signed during secret talks between the MİT and the gang and strong evidences that some MİT members participated in separatist crimes (including burning to death a young girl on a commuter bus in Istanbul).
In fears the probe might extend right to the premier the government has been trying to provide a “legal” but definitely unjust immunity to criminals within the state. The anger is so high that not only police chiefs are probing the issue but an entire group of policemen at those departments were sacked.
Why? To whose benefit will it be to cover up criminality with special laws? Did we forget the 1990s and all those people killed by “state forces” and are to this day still listed as missing?