The cat has been let out of the bag

The cat has been let out of the bag

If anyone comes up with the claim that he was unaware of the presidential system aspirations – if not the dictatorial tendencies – of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he must belong to another world which, at least for the past decade or so, did not have communication at all with this planet.

Right from the very beginning Erdoğan said in all clarity that he considered democracy a tram car to be travelled on until he reached his final destination. What was that “final destination”? That destination was the establishment of a religious conservative system in Turkey in place of the secular, democratic governance which, excluding a short period during which Atatürk unleashed a web of reforms to build a modern nation in this land, in the hands of impotent executives has been suffering from some serious deficiencies ever since the Turkish republic was built on the ashes of the defeated Ottoman Empire.
Off and on, repeatedly, the prime minister and his clowns stressed over the past 10-plus years their firm belief that a presidential system rather than the current “ailing” parliamentary democracy would best serve the target of exterminating Turkey’s administrative deficiencies.

Was there a need to become alarmed by remarks that Turkey would advance like a speedboat if separation of powers – precisely because of the Council of State, the highest administrative court, persistently saying no to actions of the executive contrary to laws or regulations – had not been frequently stalling government performance?

The tall, bald, bold and ever-angry man never even tried to hide his intentions behind some lofty rhetoric. He has been saying it plainly. He has been of the opinion that parliamentary democracy – which in fact is the tyranny of the majority leader and party leaders – was slow in legislation, the executive... and probably justice. Why? Because of separation of powers. If, however, all powers were collected in one person, this land could turn into a miracle (for the dictator, obviously) and Turkey’s development could be doubled or even tripled as it would not waste time with parliamentary debates making laws or legal hurdles created by the high courts.

Erdoğan is indeed right. This country is wasting precious time and resources for some oddity. The game we have been playing is not parliamentary democracy anyhow. Let’s allow him to make it a real dictatorship with all powers collected in him. Not only would removing such a democratic anomaly become a must, perhaps in reinstituting our system we can capture the opportunity to write a democratic web of laws governing parties and elections.

I keep on stressing that it would be great should Turkey manage to write a new and democratic constitution built without “ifs” and “buts” but on a commitment to freedoms and rights. But, before such a constitution, Turkey needs to write a democratic law on parties and an election law that would allow just representation while bringing an end to the tyranny of party leaders. Almost half of the Constitution has been amended since it was written by the junta in 1982. Somehow, everyone stresses the need to write new political party and election legislation, but there has never been a serious improvement in those anti-democratic laws since they were written by the military regime.
Let Erdoğan be the new absolute ruler, he has been the de facto one anyhow. That way Turkey may capture the need to become a democracy as this current semi-democratic atmosphere does not allow people to see what indeed is deficient in this land.