The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been defending the presidential system for a while and the Republican People's Party (CHP) has been criticizing it. The CHP withdrew from the Constitution Conciliation Committee. But when the AK Party said “a party member president,” Kılıçdaroğlu freaked out. Last week AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Nurettin Canikli announced that they will be proposing party member president with a few alterations to the Constitution. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu , furious, walked up to make his speech at the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB). He said, “You cannot implement the presidential system without bloodshed.”
We have been discussing the presidential system for years, why has Kılıçdaroğlu suddenly decided to adopt a “bloody” attitude. Canikli's party member president announcement infuriated the CHP. The party member president ignored the legitimacy of May 27; it destroyed the CHP dictatorship that was built on the blood of Adnan Menderes and his friends; it meant that a line was drawn over the CHP's red lines. A party member president meant that the CHP's dreams would be destroyed and the CHP was left defenseless.
Turkey was governed with the party member president system until the May 27, 1960 coup. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was the president and the chairman of the CHP, İsmet İnönü, was both the president and the chairman of the CHP. Celal Bayar from the Democrat Party (DP) was the president. The CHP lost all elections after Turkey moved on to a multiparty system. Realizing that they would never be honored with being the people's choice, the CHP resorted to other avenues. A junta directed by İsmet Pasha staged a coup on May 27. The constitution of the pro-coup mindset came into force on July 9, 1961. On September 17 they executed Adnan Menderes and two of his ministers.
The pro-coup mindset that built a new system over the blood of Menderes and his friends, put an end to the party member president system, divided executive powers and created a nonsensical system. The executive powers were divided among the Presidency and Prime Ministry. The CHP became partners in the presidential position and the positions that were newly created. All presidents except for the late Turgut Özal, Abdullah Gül and to an extent the late Süleyman Demirel, became the CHP's tools in executive power.
After the law was altered and the president was chosen by the people, the new system could not operate properly. While the AK Party proposed different systems like presidential system and the party member president for the system to operate properly, the CHP is insisting on having no solution to the problem with an “if I can't have, it no one will!” mentality. Kılıçdaroğlu has gone even further and has been uttering threats.
We all know the fate of non-CHP presidents like Menderes in this country. The CHP has been threatening to shed blood for the past 50 years. In 1966 CHP spokesmen threaten the new Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel to adjust the budget according to their party's wants. The CHP Research and Publishing Bureau's compiled source of the discussions and incidents enlighten us on what happened then. The statements in the book clearly show how the CHP has been defending May 27 with a bloody and consistent attitude.
Although Demirel agrees to write, “Our steady target is to make the Constitution spirit and text based on May 27 dominate,” the CHP spokesmen argue that Demirel has created a regime crisis by saying, “The legitimacy of May 27 is the foundation of everything.” The CHP spokesmen who believe May 27 is a regime issue, use the following statements while threatening Menderes and Demirel: “If we don't want a regime argument in Turkey, we shouldn't overshadow the foundation of the Constitution and the regime. I don't want to remember a sad past by analyzing the just reasons for the birth of May 27. But one should know that they will overshadow the legitimacy of May 27.”
Statements like: “The whole of Parliament cannot say 'We will declare the will on behalf of the people. Both governments and parliaments have to submit to the decisions of courts that operate on behalf of the people's will” in the book, show us how problematic the CHP's national will is.
The CHP spokesmen who had said they will change the Justice Party's (AP) election laws and the constitution with a majority in the Senate and the Parliament, use the following threats (just like Kılıçdaroğlu): “The Justice Party has always been against the national remainder and argues that this system doesn't allow a single party to come to power... It wants a garden of roses without the thorns. We stand and remember what happened to those who wished for a rose garden without thorns.”
Fifty years ago the CHP telling Demirel, “If you dream about the times before May 27, your end too will be like Menderes',” explicitly explains Kılıçdaroğlu's bloody attitude.