GuNAL – ErdoIan’s wish or threat

ErdoIan’s wish or threatandldquoive me 400 parliamentarians on June 7 and let us change the system peacefully.andrdquo This is President Recep Tayyip ErdoIanand#39s demand that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) secure 400 of the 550 seats in Parliament in the upcoming general elections.

Four hundred seats far surpass the 367 the AKP needs in order to change the Constitution without the need for consensus. Such a jump from its current 312 deputies is mathematically very unlikely, barring a major shakeup of the Turkish political scene.

If you choose to understand the word andldquopeacefullyandrdquo in a negative sense, you may come to a result that if AKP canand#39t get 400 deputies, they would be able to use andldquopeace-lessandrdquo methods. I prefer to take this word according to democratic rules — the president is trying to emphasize that it will be much more useful if voters decide to give the AKP a vast majority of the seats in Parliament, so that they can change the Constitution within the rules prescribed in the Constitution.

Maybe it has been written over 100 times that, according to the Constitution, the president must be impartial. Article 101 of the Constitution says, andldquoIf the president-elect is a member of a party, hisher relationship with his party shall be severed and hisher membership in the Parliament of Turkey shall cease.

andrdquo The AKP hasnand#39t been able to amend the Constitution yet, so they, including ErdoIan, have to obey it. In a legal sense, ErdoIan is not a member of the AKP, thus it is forbidden for him to ask for votes for a political party, according to the Constitution.

Let me turn again to the andldquonegative understandingandrdquo of ErdoIanand#39s speech. If we carry on the same logic, I have to remind him of one of the articles of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

Article 309 of the TCK is about the violation of the Constitution: andldquoAny person who attempts to abolish, replace or prevent the implementation of, through force and violence, the constitutional order of the Republic of Turkey shall be sentenced to a penalty of aggravated lifetime imprisonment.andrdquoThis article exists in many of the countries that use the Roman-German legal system and, according to European doctrine, it not only includes physical force or violence, the constitution can be violated with a putative violation as well, such as intentionally violating the article regarding the oath to protect.

Former Marshal of France Philippe Petain and former Prime Minister Pierre Laval of France, former Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini and other fascist leaders, former Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio, King Victor Emanuel and members of the Fascist Council of Italy after World War II, former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and ministers Fatin RuItu Zorlu and Hasan Polatkan, Col. Talat Aydemir, and student leader Deniz GezmiI of Turkey are some of the prominent figures who were punished through violating this article.

I can hear the voices of some lawyers talking about the irresponsibility of the president according to the Constitution. This is true with one exception: treason.

There is no true definition of treason in Turkish law, but a criminal violation of the Constitution is thought to be an example of treason according to the criminal law doctrine. If ErdoIan is threatening the public with breaking the peace, surprisingly he may get what he expects, but this will not be beneficial for any of the sides in Turkey.

We shall keep our faith in democratic values and continue to believe in the rule of law and Constitution, as it is the only legal way.American poet TS Eliot said, andldquoThe last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.

andrdquo I sincerely hope that ErdoIan realizes the facts, gives up taking a side, against his duty of impartiality, and stops this kind of wish or threat to the public.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman