The 2020-2021 judicial year started as of yesterday. Customarily, the opening, attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s parliament speaker and top judicial members, took place at the Presidential Complex in capital Ankara with a ceremony during which an annual and general evaluation was made of our state concerning “justice.” What was most striking among the lengthy statements made by Court of Cassation President Mehmet Akarca regarding Turkey’s law and justice, was that Turkey’s legal system and constitutional laws were formed by citing the laws of certain countries in accordance with the goal determined in the early years of the Turkish Republic to become Westernized. According to Akarca, the current background and experience, the human resources and legal culture we have now are sufficient for us to develop our own laws from now on. However, justifying our adoption of these laws in the early years of the Republic on the grounds that Turkey was far from being able to develop its own laws is, without doubt, a matter that needs to be discussed. Frankly, even back then there was no lack of human resources or cultural and legal experience that necessitated us adopt foreign laws. What was done in that period was not out of necessity but the result of an ideological preference.
Yet, the situation back then as well as the current atmosphere more than deserves the following succinct statements made by Mr. Akarca:
“What befits us is not to take the easy way out and import and consume, but to produce, set an example and export in the field of law with vast open-mindedness like in every other field.
“As a nation, we are going to use our own mind, see facts through our own lens, determine local and global problems ourselves without being influenced by any prejudices, and seek just solutions and present them to our people, to humanity…
“The whole world must save itself from the grasps of post-modern colonialism, not only Turkey.”
The vision presented by President Erdoğan concerning justice went far beyond this. Erdoğan, whose opening remarks observed that justice is the essence of everything, said that justice is at the core of Turkey’s activities in the Aegean and the Mediterranean. He also added that the constant reiteration of the objection that “the world is bigger than five” is the quest for justice.
The main quest behind the activities carried out in all the locations Turkey has a military presence, from Syria to Libya, is nothing other than justice. There are clear violations of rights, massacres, oppressions there, and while nobody else is objecting to any of these, Turkey has taken to the stage and is fighting with the demand for justice alone.
The attempt to confine Turkey to its coasts through a 10-square-kilometer island, disregarding its massive 780,000-square-kilometer shelf is, without any doubt, the clearest demonstration of unfairness and injustice. Turkey’s struggle against a world that is heedlessly carving up the seas, and thus displaying an example of modern colonialism by almost encroaching on the Mediterranean’s resources, which is the right of every country, is nothing other than a fight for rights, law, and justice.
Unfortunately, there is no mechanism that calls to account the oppression of some states that consider themselves great, powerful, rich and undefeatable. It is all attempted to be covered with the diplomatic sleight of mouth produced by the five members of this world that have agreed among themselves to overlook each others’ oppressions and injustices. Of course, it should come as no surprise that Erdoğan, who cries out that “the world is bigger than five” against this, is seen as a spoilsport. His outburst is a demand for justice.
There is a twisted understanding that only certain communities of the world are democratic, secure and prosperous, while the others have no significance other than to serve them. It is because of this understanding that democracy and prosperity are not allowed to progress in countries other than their own today. They even choose the countries of oppressed nations as the stage for the wars among themselves.
Thus, efforts are made to make Turkey under President Erdoğan’s rule a direct target, a victim of this injustice and oppression. Hence, as the spokesperson for both itself and humanity’s common longing for justice, Turkey voices its demand for rights and justice on every platform.
President Erdoğan presenting a vision of justice at the beginning of a judicial year not only for Turkey but the world was quite meaningful. Justice is, after all, the most important principle from which the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) gets its name. The sensitivity concerning this principle will inevitably bring Turkey forth today in its quest for justice in the world as much as in the homeland.