Ali Duran Topuz
Elections in Turkey: Are there grounds to disregard the Constitution?
Famed for creating the balance of the AKP regime and renowned for his role as the “wise man” AKP’s Bulent Arinc, threw the bone out. In summary, he says, "There is no electorate to speak of, so no election can be held.” The whole of the statement consists of calling other parties and politicians to duty so that the current oligarchic power can continue on its way. There is neither the slightest criticism of the regime, that is, self-criticism, nor is there a single reasonable suggestion.
Let us see what he had said, piece by piece. Please, welcome:
HE MINIMIZES THE CATASTROPHE EVEN AS HE CALLS IT GREAT
“We have lived through a massive disaster that might go down in history as the Great Southeast Anatolian earthquake, whose effects will spread throughout the years, and which has opened fatal wounds in our hearts and souls. I ask for God’s mercy on the souls of our citizens who have lost their lives in the earthquake, and offer my condolences to their loved ones and to our great nation.”
Even as Mr. Arinc says “great,” he minimizes the disaster. No, sir. We do not have thousands of losses; we have tens of thousands of losses and hundreds of thousands of wounded.
THE NATION VENTS ITS RAGE WITHOUT RESTRAINT
The sir says, “the nation is too grim to say a word.” No, sir, “the nation” has understood quite well that you are not of them, and they are venting their rage without restraint. Do you not hear them? Are the Palace walls too thick to let sound through? No, you hear them, plain and simple. And that is why you have come out saying “why not postpone the election.” You all are deaf to the words of the nation in the street, the only intention is to block out the expression of the people’s words at the ballot box.
Mr. Arinc says, “Beware of God.” He says, “In such a time … will you be asking for votes?” Yes, sir. Though you will not be able to ask for votes.
OF COURSE, YOU CANNOT BE A CANDIDATE
The sir says, “Will you nominate yourselves, hold campaign rallies? Have you no shame to do these things?” Yes, sir. You will neither be able to be a candidate, nor can you hold campaign rallies. Yes, you have already declared that you are too ashamed to do these things.
NO QUESTIONS FOR THE SUPREME ELECTION COUNCIL, BUT PLENTY OF DIRECTIVES
The sir says, “Neither are the electoral registers any longer valid, nor is holding an election legally or practically possible.” Are you now going to render impossible for the voter — for whom you have made life unlivable, whose right to life you did not protect — to vote, to turn into legal decision their rage, their rebellion, and their objection? Would it be so bad for you to reorganize the lists, revitalize the electoral registers, or at least fulfill your obligation to establish ballot boxes? Are you giving directives to the Supreme Election Council? If so, then ask them what they require to be able to hold the election.
The sir says, “At a time when we are going through what is perhaps the greatest catastrophe we have faced in our history, the country should be unburdened of any election-related stress as soon as possible.” Yes, sir and for that very reason, the election must be held as soon as possible. Because there is disaster that your governance has paved the way for, the people must be rid of it as soon as possible.
AN ELECTION IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT A RESIGNATION IS NOT
The sir says, “If I need to put it more clearly and bluntly, there will not and cannot be, any election in either May or June. The elections must immediately be postponed so that the government bureaucracy can concentrate on healing the wounds of our citizens. This is not a choice, but a necessity. Yes, sir. If an election will not and cannot be held, then resign so that the possibility of an administration to heal the wounds you have opened can be born.
THE CONSTITUTION IS VIOLATED ONCE, THEN A THOUSAND TIMES
The sir says, “…but constitutions are not sacred texts, they are legal ones. The legislative body can always repeal an article, amend it, or replace it.” Which legislative body are you talking about? If there is “no electorate left,” then how can a nonexistent electorate have a legislative body? Which parties will come together? The ones you declare to be terrorists day and night? The ones you name traitors to the nation? The ones you have imprisoned or threatened with imprisonment? Yes, sir. They will come together, and you will surely step aside. The “nation” knows quite well that one who violates the Constitution once, will continue to violate it in perpetuity.
BLACKMAILING THE NATION FOR A STATE OF EMERGENCY
The sir says, “A paragraph to be included in Article 78 of the Constitution, in addition to the current provision, may adjudicate the postponement of the elections in disasters such as earthquakes, almost similar to the reasoning in the declaration of the state of emergency. Undoubtedly, since it will be a constitutional provision, all parties and deputies must agree in a qualified majority.” No, sir. The opportunity to eternally hold the government in your hands through repeated states of emergency should not be given to you. Whoever gives you such a chance should know that they will have lost any opportunity to do politics and that they will have betrayed the suffering caused by the earthquakes in the worst way.
The sir says, “The President and the deputies of parliament must continue their duties until the election date to be determined by a constitutional paragraph.” No, sir. You cannot predicate the aid, the prevention of rights losses, and the amelioration of damages on such blackmail. If the election is to be postponed, you and those of your ilk should resign from office and allow politicians besides yourselves to determine when and how the election is to be conducted.
The sir is perhaps aware, or perhaps not, but the earthquake only shook the earth. The one who brought homes crashing down on the nation’s head was none other than your politics.