AKP has been shaping Turkey as it wishes under the assertion of ‘National Consensus’ since the attempted coup of July 15. And, most recently, it has also tried to have the operation over Jarabulus embraced within the scope of the same asserted ‘consensus.’ Meanwhile, CHP’s support on these approaches of the ruling party has received reactions, both within the party and outside. There is a demand for CHP to ally with the democratic forces of the country instead of the current government, which has led the country into an atmosphere of war nationally and internationally by using the coup attempt and the state of emergency as an excuse.
CHP members and MPs Özgür Özel, Veli Ağbaba, Tur Yıldız Biçer, as well as economist and BirGün author Prof. Dr. Korkut Boratav, have shared their views with BirGün on what CHP should do in order to revert the ongoing chaos; what should be done against the attacks over the work life; and what kind of an approach the leftist-socialists and democrats should take on.
Economist and author Korkut Boratav: ‘Communitarian movements must be confronted’
“The movement of the Cemaat (Gülen community) must be eliminated from the state institutions. It should not be the individuals that are to be eliminated; rather, it should be the ‘communitarian movements’. This is the point to address.
It is impossible to accept a separate group mobilization within the state body that would influence and change government policies; and, this is not only with regards to the Gülen community but all sorts of communities. At the moment, the opportunities created by the state of emergency are being taken advantage of. Since the ruling party itself already has an agenda that has dominant fascist inclinations and a tendency towards Islamic fascism, it is trying to avoid the criticism of Republican, leftits, socialists in public offices, in media, and in society, by using state of emergency as an excuse. It is trying to oppress, one by one, the factors it sees as targets; the points it sees as weak; and the individuals and groups it sees as lacking a significant potential to react.
The duty of our leftist, socialist, progressive, and Republican individuals is to stand against these kinds of regulations of the government. All the factions that are pro-sharia, pro-communitarianism, and against the fundamentals of the Constitution must be wiped out from the state apparatus. And, the cleansing of these movements, which have tried to change the society in such way not approved by the Constitution, from the state and the political administration must be supported.
This support must be with regards to the cleansing of the movements and mobilizations. It is also unacceptable to trigger a denunciation and whistleblowing mechanism – which is already quite common in Turkey – by turning the whole thing into a witch-hunt and to create losses that would be impossible to replace. So, as individuals and collective groups, we must stand against all sorts of attacks on progressive and leftist-socialist groups throughout this chaos. The assertions of CHP, which is the representative of the opposition in the Parliament, also have to be much stronger. Indeed, it should designate the cleansing of the current mobilization and avoiding of witch-hunt as the very first condition in its collaboration with the government. The whole process turning into a victimization of progressive and leftist-socialist elements must especially be prevented.
Putting into force regulations that are directed towards workforce and an economy based on rents under the state of emergency decrees is also wrong. These must be stopped immidately and referred to the Constitutional Court as much as it is legally possible. Regulations such as individual retirement and wealth fund are attacks of the capital in a time when the place for criticism has weakened. Capitalists also see this as an opportunity; and, they have demonstrated very openly that the government is actually the government of the capitalists. The mindset of ‘attacking the work force’ under state of emergency is such a shame. It is a deviance that must certainly be hampered!”
CHP Parliamentary Group Chair Özgür Özel: ‘Don’t be surprised if CHP litigates at Constitutional Court’
“Because of the nature of the coup attempt, which was against the ruling party, all eyes were turned to the main opposition party. While CHP took side with the parliament and democracy against this coup, it also knew very well that this attempt has been aimed at all gains of the Republic, the unity of the country, and equality. It has also resisted against a mindset that has tried to turn this land into a mullah regime with no toleration for differences.
Let’s look at the issue like this: think about a patient at the night of July 15. While that ill person is on the road and about to reach the hospital for an operation, he/she witnesses the tanks presences at the Bosporus bridge; hears of the clashes between the police and the soldiers in front of the General Staff; and, gets informed of the coupt attempt. Then, that person is taken into operation at the hospital. And, after a difficult operation, he/she is put in intensive care. And, he/she opens up his/her eyes, he/she sees Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar speaking in Yenikapı. At that point, there is a state of emergency; the Parliament is closed; and the government is ruling the country from the Presidential Palace through statutory decrees. This patient would by no means believe that the coup attempt that he/she had witnessed before going into operation has not succeeded.
The point we have reached today is where the government is running a civil coup by using the failed military coup of that night. This is completely unacceptable. The Constitution has been overriden. Even the question with regards to the provincial status of Hakkari and Şırnak is handled through statutory decrees. And, these decrees go beyond the scope of both the state of emergency and the time limits. The only solution is to refer to the Constitutional Court against these steps that are against the Constitution...If CHP litigates at Constitutional Court, noone should be surprised!
CHP Malatya MP Veli Ağbaba : ‘CHP will fulfill its responsibilities’
“What the coup plotters would have done if their attempt had been successful has been actualized by AKP. As it has always done so, AKP is still trying to eliminate of gains of the Republic in any chance it gets. The changing of the name of GATA (Gülhane Military Medical Academy); naming of the 3rd Bosporus Bridge as Yavuz Sultan Selim; and the allowing of women police officers to wear a hijab – as if, that is the only problem in Turkey – are all steps taken to confront the Republic. While not giving the right of assembling to the police officers, AKP has given them the right to cover up their heads. These regulations are aimed at abolishing secularism.
Our anticipation of consensus is hindered with each step of AKP. The problems that have aroused because of the abolishment of secularism are avoided; if secularism had been implemented fully, this coup attempt would not have been taken place. We are going through chaos today because of the elimination of merit system but the mindset of ‘let them be on my side’ still continues. This mindset that says ‘the man whose forehead touches the prayer rug would not harm anyone’ is the very factor that has brought Turkey to this point. If this remains like this, Turkey will have no dignity to stand in the world and will encounter much bigger problems.
CHP is monitoring the process very diligently and it is going to take the necessary precautions. We see for the first time that atheism and leftism are good for something. We see that their (AKP’s) problem is not with the coup plotters; they want to confront the opposition and to silence them. CHP is going to take the necessary initiatives and do whatever the opposition must do, as it has taken on great responsibilities during this process. If CHP had acted differently after the coup attempt, the results would have been much more damaging. Just as our responsibility on July 16 was great, it is also so now!”
CHP Manisa MP Tur Yıldız Biçer: ‘The solution lies with a democratic and secular Turkey’
“Personally, I am very worried. And, I have witnessed at various platforms that many citizens are also very worried. They say, ‘where is all this going, tell us’. The country is headed towards a civil war. The conditions of sharia that the AKP wants are being implemented in all parts of life. The allowing of hijab in police departments, where the officers must remain unbiased, is a step to create a perception of discrimination.
It is almost as if dynamite has been placed in the middle of the society and we are dragged down to somewhere we do not know of. The only way out is through CHP. But just us saying this is not enough. With the rhetoric of ‘stability’, we have reached a point where none of us knows where each of us could die. We must tell with a firmer stance that the only way out from this chaotic situation is through a secular, democratic, and modern Turkish Republic and that there is no other escape. CHP needs to demonstrate a more serious approach. Our standing point must be more clarified. We have to demonstrate a more serious stance in the face of the swamp of war and darkness that the country is being dragged into.”
Front-page article of BirGün on 29 August 2016, Monday