Mehmet Ali Birand
The crisis is gets deeper and deeper. Most importantly, we cannot see ahead of us, so we cannot find the way out of this blind alley. Let’s put our heads together. We will start with the AKP’s closure case.
It is generally believed that it will be a miracle if the constitutional court decides to issue a warning rather than close the AKP. Prior to the latest series of police detentions in relation to the Ergenekon investigation, thirty percent of the predictions indicated that the party might not be closed. The point reached in the said investigation during the last two weeks and especially the detention of the retired generals Eruygur and Tolon have pushed up the percentage of those who believe that the AKP will be closed to 25.
What will happen if this prediction proves to be true and the AKP is closed and the prime minister is banned from politics?
Until a short while ago, educated guesses said that there would be enough ‘independent’ deputies left in the parliament to allow the AKP to form a government with a new prime minister (Babacan for example), and that Erdoğan would get re-elected in 2009 as an independent and that the AKP would continue to rule as before.
In fact, until 2-3 weeks ago, this scenario seemed to be the right one. It is not though, not any more. The Ergenekon investigation and the latest detentions created a tension of a completely different nature and changed the balances even more.
Now it really looks like we are going to settle scores. There is such chaos that no one can see where we are headed. More importantly, it’s becoming more and more generally accepted that the AKP’s closure scenario won’t work. The swords are drawn and this reckoning is so far-reaching that it now seems improbable that the AKP will continue to rule under a new name by putting Babacan or someone else temporarily in the chair and re-electing Erdoğan into the parliament as an independent. Furthermore, it is becoming clear that every necessary measure will be taken to eliminate the possibility of Erdoğan’s re-election..
There is no power or formula that can untie this knot. The only solution is to slice off the knot. In other words, if the AKP is closed, the only alternative left will be to consult the public for reassurance or for a solution, better said, to hold immediate re-elections.
There will no other way out of this chaos. It’s too soon to know whether or not early elections will bring added power to the AKP. In any case, this crisis will lead us to the polls for sure.
Fallen off a horse:
The Ergenekon affair was useful in the way that it revealed the roughness and the cruelty of our justice mechanism and more to the point, the interrogation methods of our police and prosecutors. Until now, only those who had already ‘fallen off a horse’ were aware of that fact, and they kept it to themselves, simply because they could not or maybe because nobody would really listen.
We all paid attention, however, when generals and prominent names were detained. We saw clearly, for the first time, what goes on behind closed doors.
Raids at dawn as if the subjects of their foray would escape if they were asked over to answer some questions during normal hours...
Dragging them to medical examination after midnight...
Seven to eight hour long interrogations...
Wearing people out by having them sit on wooden banks before they take them before the prosecutor...
Not only refusing to allow a suspect obviously racked by cancer from going home, but also from getting the slightest medical treatment.
Letting him die under state supervision without ever finding out what he was accused of.
In other words, extrajudicial killing.
That is inhuman practice, as expressed by the Bar Association Chairman Özdemir Özok. It is against Human Rights and the European Convention. In a single word, it is total disgrace.
These methods have been in practice for years. However, none of us ever took any notice. We pretended not to see such treatment, for the people in question were PKK members or had been advocating Kurdism or because they had committed murder. “Well done” we said. “What, were they –supposed to be kept at luxury hotels?”
However, we finally realize how this practice, which we pretended not to see only yesterday, can actually hurt each and every one of us.
Such approach is the continuation of the “What, are we supposed to feed them and not hang them?” type of reasoning.
Do you now see why I always say that we have to apply EU criteria to our police and justice mechanisms and that’s where the reforms should start?