The CHP must be clear

The CHP must be clear

What’s left in Turkey to make Turks with a democratic mindset believe that growing authoritarianism in the country is a seasonal phenomenon and that tomorrow will be a bright day for Turkish democracy? Unfortunately, not much.

A statement by the Turkish Bar Association has been turned into some kind of devil to be stoned. A long-awaited yet shy complaint from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) that the authoritarian and anti-democratic nature of the post-July 15 “rule by decree” period was indeed an effort to derail Turkish democracy into a dictatorship landed it in court. The almighty, vengeful, always deceived but never regretful tall, bald, bold and ever-angry sole owner of power spared no effort, ordering his army of lawyers to bring the main opposition party into line. The lawyers immediately filed a criminal complaint against CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the CHP for uttering a “heavy insult” against the president.

The bar association has not yet received a criminal case warrant, but it is probably in the pipeline because violating the “Yenikapı spirit” cannot be tolerated by the extravagant palace under any condition. What was the “Yenikapı spirit?” Was it a non-alcoholic, new national drink like ayran? Definitely not. It was a “hush hush” dictum that derived its name from a massive rally organized by the “president’s men” with all the parties except the Kurds in the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup to demonstrate to friend and foe alike that the president enjoyed full support from all sections of Turkish society. Thus, criticizing the president was an act that spoiled that sacrosanct spirit that was greatly needed to usher in a Turkish-style presidential system.

What is a Turkish-style presidential system? Well, that was what the CHP leader tried to explain in that speech that triggered the president to order his lawyers to “bring the CHP into line and send Kılıçdaroğlu to court!”

The bar association’s statement was equally annoying for the president, but the bar was composed of lawyers who are well-versed in Turkish law and though their statement was very critical of the president, the president’s lawyers apparently could not find a word that could be taken as an insult to the president.

How could the CHP or the bar association complain about the jailing of Kurdish deputies? No one terminated their parliamentary position. Are prisons less important than the residences of the deputies in Diyarbakır and elsewhere? What’s wrong if they stay in the splendid five-star prisons of the country for some time? Were they not demanding access to prisons? After all, how could the CHP condemn the jailing of Peoples’

Democratic Party (HDP) deputies as being “against the constitution?” Did the main opposition party not hear how the government confessed that it had been fooled by the HDP and assumed that it was a genuine political party but eventually discovered that it had “organic links” to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the outlawed separatist gang which is listed as a terror group not only by Turkey but also by the European Union, the United States and many other countries?

Furthermore, how could the CHP see a connection between the Turkish president, who is in love with democracy, and political Islamist or radical Islamist terrorist groups? 

How could the CHP mention “The palace that aided and abetted the terrorist organizations Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), PKK and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL)” and say “AKP executives are the biggest threat to our democracy and our country’s security?” How dare the CHP utter the sacrosanct palace of Turkey’s mighty president and the abbreviations of such notorious gangs in the same sentence, implying some sort of togetherness or complicity in crime?

Has the Turkish president or, at his orders, has any Turkish establishment aided and abetted any one of these groups? Can anyone show one example of such illegal collaboration? FETÖ, for example, became a criminal gang when it tried to topple the government by concocting those massive corruption claims in 2013. Any sort of contact before that date cannot be criminal. The claim of being in the same bed with the PKK was also unfounded as the government was just pretending to turn a blind eye to the terrorist activities of the gang in order to make a deal and bring an end to separatist terrorism. The president believed the PKK wanted peace, but he was apparently fooled. ISIL as well was taken as a mild Islamist group. When it was discovered that it fooled Turkey and that it was a criminal gang beheading people, Turkey started hunting it. If something ever went wrong, it was because Turkey was fooled. 

Why have the CHP and the Turkish Bar Association come up with such nasty statements now? Look, the Europeans have started complaining as well. In the Progress Report released this week, there was serious criticism that there has been regression in many areas in Turkish democratic reforms.

This CHP and other critics have done an incredible disservice to the country by talking about nasty issues that have been successfully concealed with the veil of refugees, economic interests and the fear of imperial wrath… They deserve to be punished.