Again the judiciary has shown itself in its most fiercely secularist mode: an Ankara court has ruled that President Abdullah Gül can be tried for a fraud case that dates from his past involvement in a political party that no longer exists. According to the Constitution, the president can only be prosecuted for treason, but the court ruled that everybody suspected of a crime should stand trial. Last week, a similar thing happened with MP’s from the pro-Kurdish DTP, who are involved in cases going back to before they became members of parliament. Usually MP’s are immune to prosecution, but a court ruled that in this case, the DTP members are not. The MP’s refuse to attend any hearings: they feel discriminated against, since there are many MP’s from all political parties who have some old case pending against them, and whose immunity has not been nullified. But the court is persistent and now there is actually a chance that the police will come and arrest them in the parliament.
Some people suggest that these weird decisions by the judiciary have something to do with the commitment that president Gül seems to have to reach some sort of solution to the Kurdish question. He, along with Prime Minister Erdogan, speculate on a solution all the time, but don’t get very specific about what sort of solution they would propose. Now by weakening the position of both President Gül and the DTP (whose position is already weak, since there is still a closure case pending against them), staunch secularists allegedly try to frustrate a solution to the Kurdish question. Why? Because they fear (in my opinion, unjustly) a real solution to the Kurdish question would threaten the unity of the Turkish state, something that will always be unacceptable to them. In general, I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories, but in this case, I wonder if it could be true that the judiciary is just trying to frustrate a political process. But even if that is not the case, I wonder how it is possible that judicial institutions show so little respect for the rule of law that they always claim to defend. And, more importantly, how can the judiciary once and for all be stopped from interfering in politics?

1 reply
  1. Hans
    Hans says:

    Excellent article.
    MA Birand wrote yesterday that it looks like the CHP and MHP are afraid of a cease fire between the TSK and PKK.
    Btw, familiar with Jenny White her work?


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