The debate rages on following the Supreme Court’s decision in response to the Constitutional Court’s (CC) ruling on Can Atalay. The Supreme Court’s refusal to implement the CC’s ruling and its criminal complaints against its own members are seen by the opposition as a blatant constitutional coup.
Tayyip Erdoğan, leader of the AKP and President, has also made statements backing the Supreme Court.
From Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, President Erdoğan criticized the judicial crisis, which the opposition labels a coup, saying, “Dealing with individual applications legally is not tough. The real challenge lies in the decisions and actions of the People’s Alliance. However, resolving individual applications doesn’t end the matter. The next question is: What will be the basis for these applications? The Constitutional Court remains the answer. First, the Constitutional Court must be prepared for this, as numerous legal reforms are sent its way, only to be overturned. If the parliament makes a decision which the Constitutional Court then overturns, it’s nothing but a waste of time. Currently, the parliament is busy with budget planning, but in terms of individual applications, they were introduced to expedite the Constitutional Court’s processes.”
In Hatay, responding to journalists, CHP Chairman Özgür Özel countered Erdoğan’s remarks. He stated that the powers of the Constitutional Court can’t be limited by legislation. Özel underscored that the People’s Alliance lacks the strength to draft a new constitution, asserting, “We won’t allow any constitutional changes that block individual applications to the constitutional court or remove the obligation to implement CC decisions.”
Özel continued, “Erdoğan’s airplane comments are nonsensical and baseless. You can’t curb the Constitutional Court’s authority with new laws. Even he admits, ‘We can legislate, but the Constitutional Court might nullify it.’ He’s hinting at a constitutional amendment, but they lack the necessary majority. We certainly won’t agree to any constitutional amendments that block individual applications or dismiss CC decisions. The Republican People’s Party will not budge on this matter. Contrarily, we can’t agree with a mindset that disrespects and violates the constitution, as constitutions restrict autocratic powers. Our current leader sees everyone who limits his power as an enemy.
“WHEN HAS A PRESIDENT EVER CREATED A CRISIS?”
7 of the CC members were appointed by Erdoğan, and 3 by the AKP. There’s no remaining member from the era of Ahmet Necdet Sezer. He’s overstepped boundaries and is out of control, showing no regard for the constitution. His current actions amount to a coup to overthrow the constitution. This is essentially a civil coup. It’s unheard of for a state leader to instigate a crisis. But as a party chairman, he’s more interested in creating crises than solving them. He’s looking to exploit new crises for personal gain. We won’t stand for it. We’ll fight back in the streets and squares. Erdogan must understand that he can’t get away with his plans unchallenged. We’re here, CHP is here, standing strong in opposition.
“HE SHOULD WATCH HIS STEP”
“The 130,000 applications at the CC were once his pride. He boasted, ‘We introduced the right to apply to the CC.’ Now, he’s complaining about it. He used to take credit for May Day celebrations in Taksim Square until the Gezi events. Now, they don’t even allow birds there, let alone workers… Istiklal Avenue is shut to women on March 8. He claims to uphold democracy in a country rife with oppression and restrictions. We won’t tolerate such severe constraints going forward. He should watch his step. We’ll break the chains he’s placed on this nation and liberate the closed squares and streets.”
CRISIS SHIFTS TO THE SUPREME COURT
Regarding the question, “Do you think the Supreme Court collaborated with the MHP?” Özel responded:
“Erdoğan, unable to create a crisis himself, shifted it to the Supreme Court. He’s using a middleman. The 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, acting as Erdoğan’s subcontractor, has instigated a judicial crisis at the state’s apex. He’s employing a middleman to generate a crisis. The crisis and the coup attempt’s leader is none other than Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
“THEY CLAIM TO BE JOURNALISTS”
On the issue of certain media outlets remaining silent until Erdoğan spoke, Özel commented:
“It’s evident what Turkey’s pool media serves. They’re waiting for the President’s cue, ready to back the Supreme Court or the CC depending on his stance. These so-called journalists wait until Erdoğan speaks before taking a position, let alone reporting. They should honor their profession and practice genuine journalism. Their silence until the President’s word is incompatible with journalistic integrity.”