Turkey may turn into a party state if charter changes approved, warns CHP leader

17:06 • 08.01.17

Turkey risks becoming a “party state” if charter amendments introducing a presidential system are approved in parliament, Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has warned, slamming the ruling party for aiming to impose a system destroying the separation of powers, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

“If this constitution passes, let’s be frank, the Turkish Republic will become a party state. It will be shaped according to which party the government is ruled by,” he said Jan. 8.

The CHP leader’s warning came just a day before parliament was set to begin discussing an 18-article amendment which will shift the system to an executive presidency.

“The masses still do not realize that the change [of the constitution] will have serious consequences. It is our duty to tell this,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding that the constitutional amendment would demolish the principle of the separation of powers, politicizing the judicial system.

Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for bringing a constitutional amendment in an “authoritarian” manner which has not involved the demands of all political parties and civil society.

“They prepared a constitution in their own party’s kitchen. We have told them not to politicize the mosques, barracks and courts. But they politicized the military with the latest state of emergency decree,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to a decree issued on Jan. 6 by which the Defense Ministry assumed all rights to make appointments in the military.

“The chain of command [which has its roots in the times of] Mete Han has been overturned,” he said. Mete Han is believed to be the first Turkish commander between BC 209 and 174 and to be the semi-mythological Middle Asian character Oğuz Han.

‘New charter to drag Turkey into Medieval darkness’

Kılıçdaroğlu slammed the government for abusing its authority stemming for its majority support. “Nobody should regard being elected as [license for] absolute power,” he said. “They are trying to transform a democratic regime into a totalitarian one. They want to drag Turkey into Middle Age darkness.”

Criticizing the government for aiming to legalize the de facto situation created by the post-coup atmosphere through decree laws, Kılıçdaroğlu listed nine consequences of the state of the emergency rule since it was first issued on July 20, 2016.

“A second coup was staged on July 20,” he said.

“Turkey is no longer a state of law. The principle of separation of power was suspended,” he added.

“Parliament has been deactivated by state of emergency decrees. In addition, the government has used authorities that were not granted to them by parliament. A collective crime was committed, and the universal rule of law was violated. The media was silenced. For the first time in Turkey’s history, a government applied to the United Nations and declared that it had suspended the principle of fair trial. The struggle against those who attempted the coup was taken beyond the ground of law; it was handed over to one person’s hatred and anger,” he said.

“The business world, nongovernmental organizations, civil society and unions have come to a point in which they cannot speak. Nobody enjoys the safety of life and property. With the state of emergency decrees, the universities have been silenced, and hundreds of academics who have nothing to do with the coup attempt have been either suspended or jailed,” he said.

“Because of the atmosphere created, judges have arrested everybody indiscriminately with the fear that if they do not make an arrest, they might be tied to the putschists. Unfortunately, the Constitutional Court has also acted under this influence,” he said.




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