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Democratic constitution

Monday 29 June 2009, by Halil Ibrahim Akpinar

Our country has been ruled not under constitutions drafted through democratic means, but unfortunately, under antidemocratic constitutions that were prepared after military coups and which we have had to internalize since 1960.


Today, the biggest barrier to our democratic life is undoubtedly this tradition of constitution-making by junta generals.

The current Constitution does not pay much heed to the nation’s will and provides for a restricted democracy under the tight guardianship of the oligarchic bureaucracy.

Its essential philosophy relies on the assumption that the favored political parties, which are loyal to the desired regime, can never assume office by obtaining the required majority.

The current Constitution and the relevant legislation have been designed to maintain the domination of the oligarchic, Jacobean bureaucracy through mechanisms that would maim and render dysfunctional Parliament and the government.

The military power has been organized as a shadow government with its executive and judiciary organs and can be deemed to be virtually independent.

The Jacobean bureaucracy regards the government not as subordinate to themselves, but as an account manager that conducts public works, recruits civil servants, provides funds for their expenditures and performs the budgeting affairs. Furthermore, they do not like the idea of being called to account for their expenditures.

Many years have passed, but we are still unable to try the coup generals who intervened in the not-so-good democracy, and we have not punished them for the summary executions, tortures and ill-treatment they conducted.

We even had to silently accept the death of a prime minister and two ministers who were executed after a show trial.

The people and groups who do not want to accept the nation’s electoral preferences are still dreaming of overthrowing the government and destroying thousands of people with their desire to implement a Baathist regime or a sort of Pol Pot regime.

These people and groups do not become tired or ashamed of continuously plotting against the nation.

They do not regard it unethical to use all sorts of illegal and immoral means and methods.

Moreover, those who had engaged in similar activities were not punished, but rewarded, which serves as a sort of motivation for them.

My call is to everyone who does not like the current situation of democracy, human rights, free society and universal principles of law:

Let us introduce a full-fledged democracy to this country, not a crippled form of democracy as allowed by the Jacobean bureaucracy.

Yes we can perform a civil revolution

Can we have a democratic constitution and democratic legislation?

Yes, we can!

Yes, we can do it!

Because we are right.

We can introduce a democratic constitution and universal norms which our country and our people have long deserved.

We can save our people from the shame of being the citizens of a semi-democratic, less free country and make sure that they take pride in being citizens of a fully democratic country, the freest country in the world.

We can turn our country into a country of freedom, where free and peaceful people live.

As a country striving to become a member of the European Union, we can have a new and civilian constitution and legislation in which universal principles of law are esteemed and democratic rights and freedoms are guaranteed and none of our citizens discriminated or glorified on the basis of his or her ethnic origins, religious beliefs, sects, thoughts, apparel and so on.

This country has enough room.

And this country has enough beauty.

*This the translation of a speech delivered on Friday by Bolu Governor Halil İbrahim Akpınar at a meeting of the Abant Platform.

source: Today’s Zaman 21 June 2009, Sunday

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