Turkish Parliament fight club

Turkish Parliament fight club

MELİS ALPHAN melisalphan@hurriyet.com.tr
To be able to see how long a way mankind has come in 2,000 years, it is sufficient to look at the past and present of parliaments.

In the year 44 B.C., Caesar was brutally murdered in the parliament.

The year is now 2014… In the Turkish Parliament, deputies are at each other’s throats; they punch and kick each other.

The only difference is that there is no murder.

As a matter of fact, if the iPad thrown had hit somebody’s head there is no guarantee that this person would have not left this world due to cerebral hemorrhage.

Moreover, if you subtract the Caesar assassination from the equation, we can even say that the Roman Parliament was far more civilized than today’s Turkish Parliament in many ways.

In other words, in these 2,000 years, in those parliaments that have a difficult time operating because of fights such as Jordan, Taiwan, Ukraine, Afghanistan, India, Somalia, South Korea and our distinguished country, it is not quite possible to say that mankind has made any progress.

You would think, those guys in suits and ties were not taking the floor but they were approaching the boxing ring. You would think they had been elected to operate with their fists not with their minds.

If an orientalist Westerner sees this scene, he may interpret is as, “Wow, look at those guys… How they are fighting for their beliefs. While our guys are voting for the laws half-asleep, these guys cannot curb their anger.”

However, because we live inside this violence in the flesh, we know that the issue is not actually this.
For us, who have our share of the violence every darn day in this country, this scene does not look like a sincere crisis to us.

It does not look romantic either.

Nor does it look dramatic.

It looks tragic.

We expect the Parliament to be a place where issues are solved without violence.

We are afraid that the Parliament that has turned into a Fight Club will drag the country into a social disaster.

Otherwise, why does the Parliament exist? Leave the country to the man on the street; then they will be able to rule through fights. When he does it, you call him a “bandit.”

Well, look, the guy you have allocated a seat in the Parliament does the same, even worse, in front of the podium.

Why should we respect you?

If it is banditry when it is done on the streets, what is the name for what you are doing?

Why is the tension climbing at the Parliament? Because laws that nobody can stomach are being pushed, scandals are trying to be covered up. When these are voiced, then fists appear.

In 1856, when a senator at the U.S. Congress criticized a congressman because he was defending slavery, the congressman beat him up with a stick until he fainted. This violence in the Parliament was the signal of what was to come. Seeds of the civil war of a few years later had been planted. Just like the violence Caesar experienced in the Parliament accelerated the end of the Roman Republic.

You beware, so that you do not prepare the end of the country by feeding the fracture in the society from the Parliament.

People do not elect their deputies so that they can protect the son of the prime minister or for them to opt for kicks to pass those laws that wound the public conscience.

You were never convincing anyway, now you have lost your credibility all together.

Melis Alphan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published Jan. 25. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.