A democracy exercise in a Turkey targeting advanced democracy
Turkish government, (AK PARTİ currently) has always claimed to have adopted the target of establishing advanced democracy in Turkey, based on many statements made by PM Erdoğan and his deputies.
The giant program on the way to advanced democracy has covered many different measures so far, to include coup investigations, wide arresting operations carried out by the police and ending up with detainments of many military personnel both retired and in office, at the time and journalists a great majority with no relation to terrorism (not to coincide with the statements made by the prime minister).
The governing party, known to have been established on a pro-Islam fundament, has been receiving quite harsh (and increasing) criticism all along as to majority of these measures are part of an operation designed by a religious movement with quarters in USA (service as they call it) and put into practice by official judicial personnel loyal to said movement (to include the security department /police, prosecutors and judges) to get even with the secular army which is supposed to have given a hard time to Islamists before AK PARTI came to power.
Within scope of above referred operation, prosecutors have accused a hardline nationalist group of planning a coup to bring down PM Erdogan’s government, in 2003. Hundreds of suspects have been on trial for a long while and a many of those have had to spend all this time in jail and thus without being sentenced by the court, the freedom of these people have been restricted – for years- as maintained by many dissident opinion leaders.
To be worse, the defending attorneys have claimed quite some evidence have been manipulated (or made) up against the suspects, by the security department to put them in a quilty situation.
Now, in a country where the ruling authority claims to have targeted advanced democracy one would think the government (with full force in power) could and should take required action to recover this defective situation and see to it that all those people receive the “humanly and basic opportunity of a fair treatment” (and not behind the bars).
The government has been criticized not to attend to this basic request by saying “We are not allowed to and thus cannot interfere in matters of judiciary. Everybody should have faith in judiciary and trust they will come out with fair and just decisions, in the end”. This statement has been considered to be “not good enough” to waive the responsibility of ensuring “true justice to comply with basic human rights prevails” in the country.
In fact, the government has taken swift action to provide protection for Mr. Fidan, the head of National Security Organization against charges made by the prosecutors for committing crime by attending meetings held with terrorist organization (as per the PM’s instructions), in Oslo a while ago.
In this very unique situation the PM and the government have certainly tried to find ways to prevent said person from being interrogated by the prosecutors of the state.
As the law did not allow to provide such a legal protection at the time, the government took the necessary step by changing the law (as they deemed necessary) to provide that Mr. Fidan was not interrogated by the prosecutors. The judiciary was simply given the message “You stay out of it. This will not be within your scope of authority any more. Because that is the way it needs to be”. This showed that the government was capable of working more closely with the judiciary after all, with a very important detail though; That is, “if the government deemed necessary”.
We need to remember at this point that many journalists (not referring to those detained for terrorism charges certainly) have still been suffering restriction of freedom based on the excuse “they could run away or obfuscate the evidences”.
Another important criticism forwarded by many opinion leaders, detained suspects and their attorneys is the attitude and approach displayed by the judges on trials and unfair treatment, the defendants receive sometimes. Opinion leaders and journalists maintain that anybody willing to make a statement or provide views about said cases, should definitely attend some of the hearings to personally witness the treatment the defendants – and even attorneys – receive.
The bottom line is although the Turkish Government may have plans to see advanced democracy prevail in the country, there are many unacceptable points to be rectified and the only light to see at the end of the tunnel should be “a state which provides a solid basis for human rights and true freedom of thought and speech” for its citizens without any exception, regardless of whether they are for or against the ruling power.
compiled by Editor