Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop served as the president of the Constitutional Committee in Parliament from December 2016 to January 2017 while preparing the constitutional package that was voted on in the referendum that took place on April 17, 2017.
In other words, he was the first to know about all the discussions taking place between representatives of the government on the one hand and the opposition on the other, about their views on this package.
During a television interview on Channel Seven last Sunday, I asked Şentop about what some opposition parties are saying regarding what they call the impossibility of Erdogan becoming a candidate again, and that the matter will not be possible unless the parliament decides to hold elections.
He had said in a previous statement that he would pen an article on this issue and that this point of view was not valid from a legal standpoint, so he had the right to do so, and indeed the article he spoke about was published.
Yet Şentop, before going into the legal details of the topic at hand during that television interview, shared with us a funny anecdote:
“All the materials were discussed at length at that time, and while I was looking at the course of that debate, I did not find this topic up for discussion at all by any of the participants. On the contrary, there was a completely different discourse expressed by friends in the opposition.”
What did the letter look like?
“You are giving Erdogan the opportunity to run for office three more times.” How is that? First, once this constitutional amendment enters into force, he will be able to run for the first time, and then for a second time, while the third will be by a decision of the House of Representatives. Our colleagues who are authorized to do so, but it seems, they based their opinion as to if such a proposal did not take place, or that they did not accept the existence of this possibility in the first place, and they acted later based on this presumption and premise.”
As you know, once Erdogan is the focus of any discussion, there will also be circles in the country that may direct the discussion to places that may not be directly related to the main issue at hand.
These circles are not without legal men who studied law, who grew up for decades within the legal system of the country, and who later appeared before us with titles they call "honorary" or the like.
You must also remember Sabih Kanadoğlu and his 367 strange cases, which he raised in 2007 by "fabricating the law.”
and this indeed looks like a case of the following: As if discussions according to them are based on the saying: "Life is bitter, and pepper is bitter, so life is pepper."
In this regard, allow me to quote, without any interference, the explanations of Speaker Şentop on Article 101 of the Constitution, which he put forth in this context:
“The president of the republic was chosen in 2014, within the old parliamentary system, which means that the elections that took place at that time were based on the old Article 101, which was nominated based on what was mentioned in it only once, but the question here is, was the new Article 101 in the constitution in force? When he was nominated in 2018?
The old article was canceled on April 30, 2018, while the elections took place in June of the same year, which means that the president of the republic was chosen once in 2014 based on the old article 101 with the possibility of him running for a second time if it was valid, However, the new article entered into force after the first one was canceled on April 30, 2018, and in the same year, the President of the Republic ran for elections based on it for the first time, while the article says that the President of the Republic can run for two consecutive terms, so what is the basis on which the assumptions of those who say that it is not possible to run for a second term? The old article that you rely on… has been canceled.”
The statement of the British Chief of Staff and a joke from the Cold War
A joke from the Cold War era sprang to mind when I read the statement of the U.K. Chief of the General Staff of the British Army Sir Patrick Saunders, and I wanted to share it with you so that we could laugh a little while I write, but I must quote Saunders' statement first:
“We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again, we must prepare to defeat Russia in World War III.”
Please note that the joke is from the time when Bulgaria was part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War:
A Frenchman, a Brit, a Russian, and a Bulgarian are on a plane together. But the heavy load apparently led to the plane wobble shortly after takeoff, threatening to crash and prompting them to throw luggage and items out to lessen the load.
It didn't take long before a voice came from the cockpit saying: "One of you must jump because the load is still heavy."
The Briton did not hesitate, and immediately stood up and said, "Long live our empire on which the sun never sets, long live the Queen," and jumped out of the plane...
The same thing happened again shortly after, which prompted the Frenchman to sacrifice himself by jumping, shouting, "Long live the French Revolution, long live Napoleon the Great."
Then not very long after, it surely happened again, they heard a new notice telling them that the load was still heavy…
This time, as soon as the Russian heard the last warning, he jumped up and shouted, “Long live Lenin, long live communism, long live the brotherhood of peoples.” Then he grabbed the Bulgarian by the neck and threw him out of the plane.
If we wanted to apply the story to our current reality based on the statement of the British Chief of Staff, which I quoted, the end would be as follows:
As soon as the Briton heard the last notice, he jumped up and chanted, "Viva Great Britain, long live our Queen," and then grabbed the Ukrainian by the neck and threw him off the plane.
Would it be appropriate for us to suffice with this amount.... of joking?