ANKARA TDN Parliament Bureau
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday slammed the ultra-nationalist opposition party's leader for his proposal of self-sacrifice for the sake of democracy in the case of the disbandment of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP.
�Who are you? Politics cannot be executed by begging for mercy and asking to withdraw someone who you cannot beat in the elections,� Erdoğan said during his party's group meeting in Parliament.
Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, advised Erdoğan not to run for Parliament as an independent deputy if his party suffers from subsequent disbandment. �He puts himself in the position of the Constitutional Court and commits extra-judicial killing,� Erdoğan told his lawmakers.
Erdoğan recalled the fact that Bahçeli had resigned from his post as MHP's chairman following a defeat in the general elections in 2002 yet returned to his position after one year.
�Who authorized you to make such a proposal? First respect political ethics. If a politician decides to stand down from politics it will be through the will of the people,� he said.
Opposition critical of TÜSİAD's move
Yesterday's agenda of the opposition parties, full of criticism of both the government and the country's largest industrialist's organization, suggested the formation of a forum to discuss renewing the Constitution.
Bahçeli recalled that it was no one else's job to initiate a new Constitution, but Parliament's. �It should not be forgotten that there is no legal ground for any institution to put itself into the position of the legislative,� he said.
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association, or TÜSİAD, had organized a convention with the participation of other big nongovernmental organizations in a move to revive efforts to rewrite the Constitution.
�I could only call such efforts as immersion of foresight,� he added.
Baykal: Not now
The leader of the main opposition, the Republican People's Party, Deniz Baykal, shared Bahçeli's views and said, �It was not the right time to discuss the new Constitution.�
�Some groups on purpose, some groups unaware, are involved in efforts for a new constitution. But many of these groups are used in this discussion the way the leftist groups were used in Iran (before the Islamic revolution),� Baykal told his lawmakers.
�Let's make a choice�, he added, �Is Turkey going to preserve its modern shape or will it become a weird Islamic state of the Middle East?�