If things get out of hand

I heard that twice this week from media I work for: ‘Contact us again if things get out of hand’. First about the strikes and protests that are organised against social reforms the government wants to carry through. And a few hours earlier today about the lawsuit that the chief prosecutor filed to the Constitutional Court requesting the closure of governing party AKP. Dutch news agency ANP cooperates with bigger international news agencies, and from them they get the plain ‘breaking news’. Only if things get out of hand – huge demonstrations, violence – my work starts.
In my eyes, things have gotten out of hand already. It’s too much really, to try to close down a party that has overwhelmingly won the elections. The chief prosecutor says he’s filing this lawsuit because AKP is the ‘focal point of anti-secular activities’. Main anti-secular activity: changing the constitutional law so that headscarved women can go to university too. You cannot call that objectively anti-secular. There’s no objective sign at all that the AKP wants to turn Turkey into an Islamic country. On the contrary: there’s no such thing in their party programme, they say they are committed to joining the European Union and they have recently given more rights to other religions besides Islam. So the prosecutor has a tough case. For now, it doesn’t look like this lawsuit will really lead to the closure of AKP. The Constitutional Court has eleven members and seven of them have to vote in favour of closing AKP down. It would be very surprising if seven high judges think it’s better for the country to close down the most popular party since a long time. So my guess is that this move will only make AKP stronger. But that’s just a guess. Let’s wait and see just how far things get out of hand the coming weeks.

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