Turkey's economy tsar warns of deteriorating rule of law

Turkey's economy tsar warns of deteriorating rule of law

Turkeys economy tsar warns of deteriorating rule of law

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Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has again expressed his concern over the rule of law in Turkey, suggesting that the country could end up craving the current status of its democracy and economy in the near future if the judicial situation further deteriorates. 

“Democracy can only survive with a solid legal system in place. A healthy democracy cannot be sustained in a state where you think ‘this country is democratic, but there are some problems with the rule of law.’ If the rules are not clear and transparent, if they are not enforced on those who break the law, if the judiciary is not properly functioning, democracy will likely fail,” Babacan said on May 13, referring to Turkey. 

Speaking at the “Bab-ı Ali [Sublime Porte] Meetings,” organized by a Turkish think tank bearing the same name, Babacan stressed that a dysfunctional legal system also hurts a country’s business environment. He said rulings reached after prolonged court processes, which are often later reversed by higher courts, damage legal certainty. 

“We want a system based on universal law. We want our constitution to be simple, clear and easily comprehensible. Moreover, we say that our legal system has to operate in an objective and independent manner,” the deputy prime minister said. 

Babacan is widely seen as Turkey’s economy tsar, but he will not be running for parliament in next month’s general election due to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) three-term rule, which restricts the mandate of AKP MPs to three consecutive terms in parliament. 

Babacan’s position within the AKP has come under increasing scrutiny this year, amid President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s continuous criticism of Turkish Central Bank Governor Erdem Başçı, who Babacan recommended for the position and whose decisions he has defended.