Home / Ankara / Fmr ECHR Judge Türmen: If the proposed constitution passes, democracy will die out completely!

Fmr ECHR Judge Türmen: If the proposed constitution passes, democracy will die out completely!

Former European Court of Human Rights Judge Rıza Türmen: ”Collecting all the powers in one hand is either a dictatorship or an absolute monarchy”

On the subject of the proposed constitution which is being voted in Turkish Parliament, Former European Court of Human Rights Judge Rıza Türmen stated that if it goes through, democracy will die out completely!

While speaking to Zeynep Kuray from Birgun newspaper, He pointed out that the meaning of collecting all the powers in one hand is either a dictatorship or an absolute monarchy, adding that ethnic and religious divisions which are long rooted in the country will increase even more.

Türmen, mentioning that the Constitution is of two main purposes, reminded that the first one is to protect fundamental rights and freedoms and the second is to restrict the power of the governing body. It can be seen that he proposed constitution however removes these two fundamental purposes.

Türmen expressed that the proposed constitution hands over the legislative, executive and judicial powers into a single individual, and if it happens, that is the dictatorship or absolute monarchy. On the contrary to a much needed constitution which can heal all the ethnic and religious divisions, the constitution underway is to polarize the society even further with such divisions. In the case of the acceptance of the proposed constitution, the section of the society who will have objected and said NO will be completely isolated.  The oppressed, Kurds, Alevis, Seculars and those who say NO will be totally alienated from the newly established system and will move away, and this will lead to the domination of only a majority.

“Society is not aware of upcoming danger”

Türmen emphasized that The proposed constitution is not only incompatible with Turkish society but also very likely to increase the authoritarianism which has historically long existed in Turkish society and might actually turn into a dictatorship.

The consequences of the proposed constitution is not limited to the death of democracy in the country and to further elevate the divisions among the various sections of the society but also is to push Turkey farther away from the West, added Türmen.

Expressing that the public is yet to understand the upcoming danger with the proposed constitution, Türmen pointed out the following issues: “A constitution can not be made without the establishment of a social mechanism; it requires the participation of whole society. However, the proposed constitution is not generated in such a way, so how it is being prepared?  Behind the closed doors, a political party without consulting anyone else came up with this proposed constitution. On top of it, this is deliberately done during a state of emergency when any meeting or demonstration is prohibited and journalists are being jailed. Of course, under such conditions, the society will not be aware of how the whole process is handled. Such a process is not acceptable. In order to achieve this process through consultation, first and foremost there needs to be freedom of speech.”

“Civil society has to be mobilized”

Stating that during this very important period of time, the opposition cannot be regarded as what exists in the parliament, “Most importantly we need to mobilize the civil society and opposition” said Türmen. He also underlined that to be able to actively participate in this process, however, first of all,  the society needs to be informed about what the proposed constitution is all about, what it adds and takes away, generating a broader discussion within the different levels of the society. It is not too late to express the opposition to the proposed constitution as it is being voted at the parliament, reminded Türmen. He also emphasized the importance of a unified front to oppose such an oppressive regime change which will destroy all the democratic gains of Turkish Republic.

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