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AKP is not run well

Monday 28 April 2008, by Mehmet Ali Birand

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) attracts attention to itself with a very blatant feature now that it has become the government, and that is its failure to put an end to the defects in the administration of the party.

Political parties all over the world have established decision-making procedures. At first, preparations are made by the related commissions before consulting with the organization. After having gone through all these steps, the matter at hand is sent up to the highest level when the leaders make the final adjustments. In this way, all decisions are sifted through the legal, political and – if necessary – social and cultural sieves. The opposition is also consulted when necessary.

Parties with well-oiled mechanisms don’t take a draft bill to Parliament on wobbly legs. They make concessions when they have to in order to reach a compromise with the opposition or even backtrack, but they don’t zigzag all around the floor.

The AKP has this disease.

Someone throws out an idea, and they get excited and start running without really having thought about it; or someone says something to the prime minister on the road to some place, and he turns around to his entourage and says, “good idea, let’s do something about it.” They, in turn, immediately start writing things as if God had spoken.

Then what?

Then it is chaos.

Wrong sentences, superfluous words and regulations that conflict with the law.

Let’s make a list of some examples as a reminder.

The draft bill on adultery of 2004 would have gone through and blocked the EU project if Verheugen hadn’t warned us so insistently in Brussels. The prime minister was convinced to take it back at the last minute.

During the initial stages of the latest constitutional amendment, the AKP first reached an agreement with the MHP on the turban issue and then backtracked. During the debate on the headscarf, there was also a lot of carelessness, which led to the invention of the ‘under the chin’ formula.

We zigzagged continuously.

The two latest examples of bad administration and gaucherie or lack of experience were the arguments over article 301 and the latest PACE declaration.

Article 301 was not well considered

The debate on article 301 has been going on for two-and-a-half to three years. Meanwhile, thousands of articles must have been written and intense arguments have taken place. However, none of those arguments seem to have been taken into consideration. Devoid of a law drafting mechanism, the AKP has once more produced a slipshod draft.

I am sure that AKP members did debate the issue among them, but the resulting draft contained such serious mistakes that we were all amazed. Here are some examples to prove the lack of communication and good administration within that party: In the draft, they used the word “kovuşturma” (prosecution) instead of ‘soruşturma’ (investigation). When they decided to give the president the right to prosecute, Parliament Speaker Toptan warned, “Don’t, you’ll be making a mistake.” The prime minister replied, “No, we’ve decided that this is the correct version.” The president remained silent out of politeness, but expressed his unease through his entourage at Çankaya.

PACE declaration also typical example of lack of experience:

The latest declaration issued by PACE was the final example of AKP’s lack of experience, if not gaucherie. If the AKP or its AKP’s subcontractor, the Azerbeijani delegation, had not asked the PACE to make this declaration, it wouldn’t have. Such demands are usually made by PACE members.

If the final declaration turned out to be so stunted and ambiguous, it is entirely due to the way the whole thing was handled. If the AKP members hadn’t been too scared to say, “Yes, we asked them to do it,” they wouldn’t have been in this situation. You’ll see when I write about it tomorrow that there had been no reason for fear. It’s the AKP’s job to fight its closure. Furthermore, Turkey has always used the PACE.

If the AKP had been well run and had a strategy, it would not have found itself in such ridiculous situations.

I think that Prime Minister Erdoğan would do better to stop being mad at the media and to overhaul his party organisation instead.

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Source : Tuesday, April 22, 2008 TDN

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