BERIL – If only

If onlyNo one can pretend that Turks have confidence in their judicial system There are four major types of trials that occupy the front pages in the country. First, there are trials about people who have, through their negligence, caused the deaths of people on roads, in hospitals or at construction sites.

No one believes those responsible, both in the civil service or in the private sector, are being really punished for their negligence. Following every sad incident, the public starts looking for someone to pay for the loss of lives, mostly in vain.

Sometimes the trials take too much time and the public forgets all about it other times those responsible simply escape.The second type of important cases which people talk about is about murdered women.

In fact, there are many other crimes committed against women, but for now, we are mostly focused on killings. There are thousands of men in Turkey who have murdered their wives, ex-wives, ex-lovers, sisters or mothers.

These men often receive symbolic prison sentences and then return to society. People know these murderers are among them but they get used to it.

And perhaps the worst part is getting used to it.The third group of cases is about political assassinations.

We know the cases into murdered journalists UIur Mumcu, Hrant Dink or academic Bahriye uok took so many years, just as the one about the failed assassination attempt on Turgut zal. Those cases remained partly unresolved because their witnesses frequently change their statements, evidence has disappeared or new evidence has transformed the cases into a puzzle.

Sometimes the police catch the ones who pulled the trigger, but never those who are behind them Society, by experience, guesses why the assassination took place and who might be behind it. Those who are behind the murders sometimes have links to the state, but those sponsorsand#39 names are never revealed and they never face trial.

Political assassinations have often something to do with the state mechanism, but the state is not a monolithic entity. In fact, many struggles take place within the state.

New cadres fight with old staff, new institutions struggle with old institutions and there are rivalries in every public institution.This brings us to the fourth kind of cases: the trials of those who were involved in past coups, those who tried to foment new coups or those who tried to destabilize the elected government in one way or the other The police conduct raids, prosecutors write long indictments and long detention periods become the norm By the way, those involved in these cases or who are accused of being involved are promptly condemned in the eyes of society.

In other words, even before the courtand#39s verdict, people have already decided who is guilty or not and they do not change their opinions even after the verdict. This has become another odd habit.

Every new power circle tries to silence the old ones those who once cooperated start struggling and so forth.If only the state mechanism in Turkey wasnand#39t as powerful as it is.

If only grabbing hold of the state wasnand#39t an attractive goal at all. If only we had a smaller, more effective and less mighty state, then people wouldnand#39t risk everything to control it.

If only political parties, official institutions or social groups would struggle with one other just like rival private companies in a free market economy. Maybe we could then become a democratic country.

If only political struggles didnand#39t become judicial matters. Maybe then we could have a state that respects the rule of law.

If only political life were more transparent, the fight more just and political players more open to criticism Maybe then we could become a country where individual freedoms are respected.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman