High Court to make a crucial decision
What is Turkey’s main agenda?
Is it Uludere, the bombing and killing of 34 Turkish nationals by Turkish jets apparently because of “inaccurate intelligence”? Or is it the question of who gave the order to kill the smuggler-villagers at Uludere; or who provided that “inaccurate intelligence,” the Americans, the military, or the National Intelligence Organization?
Is it the low-level civil war continuing in the southeast and the falling of sons of this nation (some in military uniforms, some in the outfits of the gang) every other day to secessionist terrorism?
Is it abortion, an issue that indeed closed down with the coup administration of 1983 lifting the abortion ban, which resulted in a remarkable decrease in the number of deaths of mothers since then, according to the Turkish Union of Doctors? Or is it the greed of some doctors, which produced an extraordinarily high number of elective Caesarean section births in Turkey’s maternity wards?
Is it the collective bargaining right, used by public servants for the first time? Or the eventual 4+4 increase in wages that the arbitration council ruled, at a time when the government “readjusted” and hiked by 10.5 percent?
All these and many others are of course important issues, but a crucial matter which ought to head the agenda somehow is the one least discussed: Will the Constitutional Court uphold the law stating that President Abdullah Gül’s tenure is seven years, the first public-election of president will be in 2014, and current and past presidents will not have the right to seek reelection while new and succeeding presidents will have the right of reelection for a second five-year term?
Answers to these questions will have long-term impacts on Turkish politics. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) application for the annulment of the law on the election of the president may produce an annulment of the article stating that the tenure of the president is seven years. Similarly, the article banning a second term to current and past presidents is problematic. Why? Because the constitution (with amendments made by the ruling AKP in 2007) states that presidential tenure is five years; with the possibility of re-election for a second five-year term. Laws have to conform to the constitution; not the constitution with the laws. Secondly, equality is a basic tenet of constitutional law; while the newly elected and succeeding presidents will have the possibility to seek re-election, banning that right for the incumbent and the former presidents would be a gross injustice.
One might say that when the Constitutional Court was restructured the number of high court judges was increased and the AKP now has a clear majority to get whatever decision it wants. That would be a simplistic look at the issue. Not just the AKP, but Gül also appointed the new members of the high court. There has been an apparent rift between the AKP and the Gülen brotherhood for some time (and the AKP lost the battle to Gülenists at the Court of Accounts election). Obviously, Gül wants a second term in office. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is dying to become the first publicly-elected president. So it continues, and the High Court will make a decision soon…
What’s Turkey’s real main agenda?