Exposed realities

Exposed realities

Two separate developments have exposed some bitter and unfortunate realities of this country. The foremost reality exposed is a bitter fact which has been bare for some time but many people have been refusing to publicly acknowledge: The country is plunging fast toward a one-man-rule. 

The judicial-political storms over the Feb. 7 attempt of a “prosecutor with special powers” to question the head of the intelligence and four top spies in connection with the role the intelligence agency might have played in the establishment of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), or the urban organization of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and such dirty laundry of the spy agency were breathtaking. But, at the same time, that upheaval demonstrated in what difficult waters Turkish democracy was sailing through.

The second incident was the release of the summary of the State Supervisory Council (DDK) report on the murder of our friend and colleague Hrant Dink. Of course only a glimpse of the report was released, but even that clearly underlined the bitter reality of dirty deals between some security people and criminals; gross ignorance and an effort to cover up the 2007 murder. The non-binding report called for prosecution of the top police and gendarmerie officials due to their alleged negligence in providing security to Dink despite reliable information and later in probing his murder.

One investigation was “ordered” to be closed down – at least for now – through legislating a special law empowering the prime minister to provide an immunity shield to the top spy and any other “public employee” who might have committed a crime while fulfilling an order from the prime minister. The Dink case hinged on at the court for five years because many officials and officers who should have been at least heard could not be brought to the courtroom due to the restrictions in the “Law on the procedures of trial of public servants.” Due to the legal shield provided by the law many officials did not sufficiently collaborate with the court. Thus, the verdict obtained after five years was deficient, to say the least, and totally awful as it ignored the obvious gang involvement.

The special judicial shield for the top spy and those who might have committed a crime while fulfilling an order from the prime minister was a natural reflection of the mentality embedded in the “Law on the procedures of trial of public servants” which provides a judicial shield to the public-employed by conditioning trial to the approval of the immediate superior, often the minister, a politician. Then, Turks are kidding themselves that this country is a democracy, all Turks are equal in front of law or there is supremacy of law.

If how the latest immunity shield was provided is examined the crooked mentality might be better exposed. When the prosecutor attempted to question the top spy and four senior spies, they just did not heed the order to go to court. Instead, the premier ordered a legislative way out. Within three days a formula was found. Under strict orders of the prime minister in four hours a new law was legislated.
Turkey should of course get rid of special courts, as well as special treatment for some if it intends to become a democracy.