Turkish minister targets bar head over ‘plurality’ remarks

Turkish minister targets bar head over ‘plurality’ remarks

Turkish minister targets bar head over ‘plurality’ remarks

TBB President Metin Feyzioğlu speaks at a ceremony marking the start of the new judicial year. AA photo

Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin has slammed Metin Feyzioğlu, the President of the Turkey’s Bar Associations (TBB), for his remarks on “plurality,” while pledging to introduce a more “pluralist” election system for TBB.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 2013-2014 Justice Year on Sept. 2, Feyzioğlu indirectly criticized the government’s “majoritarianism.”

“When world and Turkish history is looked at, the term ‘national will’ has been the choice of political administrations who came to power through elections, but who have adopted majoritarianism instead of pluralism and have started to exhibit increasingly authoritarian tendencies,” he said. 

“What [should be encouraged] is the culture of democratic conciliation, participatory democracy, the prevention of an absolute hegemony of a temporary majority over a temporary minority, so it does not attempt to impose how to live on individuals, which school to go to, which beliefs to have, where to worship, and which ethical rules to adopt,” he added.

While answering journalists’ questions on his way out of the ceremony, Ergin voiced his discontent with Feyzioğlu’s statements. “Those who claimed their seats through ‘majoritarianist’ methods do not have the right to give us ‘pluralist’ advice from this podium. I would like to express this. After Parliament is reopened, we will work to maintain pluralism in every field,” he said.