Who will take what lesson from April 16? - YASIN AKTAY

Who will take what lesson from April 16?

It is very clear that the results of the April 16 referendum do not consist of a clear decision made on a matter put to referendum alone. Rather, it also gives – should give – important messages to all. Even though the outcome of this referendum, should actually, as a requirement of the rule, have ended all debates, looking at those who are trying to continue the debates, it is clear that there is stubbornness on the point of refusing to take these lessons.

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party), similar to the attitude it has adopted following all elections, has already started working after the referendum, taking the lessons it should on its own behalf. Perhaps, this reveals the most important difference between it and the Republican People's Party (CHP) and other parties. The others, instead of gathering properly after any election, despite always losing elections, and asking themselves, “Why did we lose this election?” “Why didn't these people vote for us?” constantly choose to resort to a path that accuses those who did not vote for them. Rather than blaming themselves, the CHP chooses to blame either its rival or the electorates. Yet, even after the elections it wins – and it has won every single election it has been in to date – the AK Party gathers and asks itself, “Why didn't we receive more votes?” “We won this election, but what is the reason behind those who did not vote for us? Where did we go wrong?” This way, after each election, it starts to campaign for the next one. This is probably the first and most important explanation as to why it wins the following elections, too.

The CHP's election campaign for this referendum was on the concept of protecting “the authorities of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey [Parliament]” against “one-man” authority. Yet, everybody knows that the CHP has never in the past respected Parliament's will. Applying to the Constitutional Court upon a decision being taken in Parliament that it did not want has become a major habit of the CHP's. They always considered the Constitutional Court, a tutelage institution they formed through their much loved May 27, 1960 coup, better than Parliament, because the Constitutional Court gave them a strange kind of power to run the country – or actually to run it by making it become unmanageable – against the majority of Parliament, which has never been enough for them to take a decision themselves. That Constitutional Court is the same court that had interpreted the minimum number of the assembly session to elect the president in the first round as 367, to the pleasure of the CHP. The same Constitutional Court had been able to cancel a constitutional amendment that passed Parliament with 411 votes, even though the court had no authority to do so.

Is the CHP taking the Turkish people to the Constitutional Court?

Today, the CHP, unable to stop itself, is capable of bringing to the agenda the matter of taking to the Constitutional Court a package that has passed parliament, put to referendum and, as a result, received the approval of the people. Fortunately, there is no longer a Constitutional Court that can hide this comedy.

There is no Constitutional Court they can trust today, but there are international institutions that they trust. There is the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the EU's various institutions. It seems they knocked on every door, thinking that there might be a remedy to their problem. The OSCE prepared a quick report, only one day after April 16 – who knows when it was prepared, who they spoke to and how. It was very clear that this report was announced to add fuel to the provocation the CHP is trying to create in Turkey. The aim was revealed as starting a public uprising. However, the world included this report on their agenda for a while, as if it was serious.

The report drew attention with its clearly-biased language and aggressiveness incapable of hiding its opposition toward Turkey. The committee that came to Turkey to prepare the report is clearly a side of the campaign. So much so that one of the reporters, German Parliamentarian Andrej Hunko, almost regards himself in charge of making propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist organization. Even this relationship alone should be a serious enough warning to think where this dirty hand and viewpoint that stained the formation of the OSCE or EU's views on Turkey is dragging Europe. Frankly, such a report being published under the name of an organization, whose objective is to spread and deepen democratization in Europe, has only shaken trust in the organization.

What should be done to “compete under equal terms”?

After witnessing this relationship, is there any need to mention that the claims stated in the report are baseless and untrue? Unfortunately, the statements made by these dirty mouths have been spread. Hence, let us continue in the name of cleaning the ears that heard them. For example, it is stated that the referendum campaign did not take place under equal terms. What are they referring to when they say equal terms? All parties that pass the 10 percent election threshold in Turkey get a share from the state treasury. All television channels are open to all political movements. The internet and social media is open to use by all. If what they mean by inequality is that the “yes” campaign is carried out by a charismatic leader against the “no” campaign being carried out by an uncharismatic leader, who has not been able to connect with the Turkish people, who is foreign to them, then what kind of measure is the OSCE suggesting to make such a term equal?

It is clear that the source of disturbance is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's supporting the “yes” campaign and the performance and leadership demonstrated by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım during this process. So, for the referendum campaign to be equal for the OSCE, the president should not have spoken and the prime minister should not have shown such a performance. What does the OSCE's claim, “The election did not take place under equal terms” mean? The inequality between Erdoğan and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is a fact, but we have to admit that this this exists and that there is no way to make up for it. However, we should remember that neither Kılıçdaroğlu, nor any of the other opposition leaders have ever been on such equal terms in any of the elections that they participated in against Erdoğan. That is why Kılıçdaroğlu already seems sure that Erdoğan is going to win the elections that are going to take place in 2019 and 2024. Because, his inability to consider himself equal has nothing to do with the terms of the election, but with his own view of himself.

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