Democracy a la Turca, Catch’em All!
The new education bill, namely 4+4+4, was approved yesterday at the Education Commission amid fists and kicks to the heads of CHP deputies and the cameramen and with a deputy circle of AKP around the chair keeping non-AKP MPs out of the Commission chamber.
The own democracy of the ruling party, AKP, emerged yesterday at the Education Commission during the negotiations of the new education bill offered by 5 deputies of AKP (Nurettin Canikli, Ayşe Nur Bahçekapılı, Mustafa Elitaş, Ahmet Aydın and Mahir Ünal). The session was planned to start at 15 PM on Sunday, but the petit Commission chamber was already piled on by approximately 100 AKP deputies long before, only a few were the Education Commissioners. When CHP deputies came to participate in the session, the plan of the ruling party deputies was put in the action. It was reported that they took the decision of not allowing CHP MPs to join the session at their breakfast meeting yesterday morning.
While Muharrem İnce, the group deputy chairman of CHP, asked Nabi Avcı (AKP), the president of the Education Commission, for providing them their seats back, there began a fistfight among the deputies. Amidst these close combat, the deputy Engin Altay (CHP) fell flat on the ground, and kicked deathly by the deputy Zülfü Demirbağ (AKP), reported another deputy Özgür Özel (CHP). He also stated that Harun Karaca (AKP) kicked him saying “Here’s is the shame!” when he said this was a shame. One cameraman was also beaten by AKP deputies, said Turgut Dibek (CHP).
In that high tension rough-and-tumble, the articles of the bill were being read without being heard by anyone. All claims of CHP deputies to take the floor were rejected by the President of the Commission, Nabi Avcı. 20 of 26 articles remaining from the sessions last week were put to vote and all approved in 20 minutes by MPs of AKP, most of them even not the Education Commissioner. CHP parliament group was convened urgently, then declared that was illegitimate and unacceptable, and the parliamentary democracy was finished. The other opposition party, MHP, supported the main opposition, too.
Last week, very hot debates were hold at the Commission during the negotiations of the new bill, where only 6 articles were discussed, and approved by AKP deputies. The Commissioner Hakan Şükür, formerly a famous football player, was drastically criticized when he was not interested in what was happening there, looking at his tablet, and then left the Commission chamber to watch the football game of Galatasaray, his ex-team. The next day his advisor, Resul Bumin Boydak, hit the Commissioner Haydar Akar (CHP) in the negotiations of the bill at the Education Commission. Şükür was also faced heavy criticism when he started to work as a paid football commentator in a private TV channel, and did not joined to parliamentary works.
Yesterday was not the first day the violence was appeared at the Turkish Parliament. Remember, Kamer Genç (CHP) was pushed during his speech on the stage by Sadık Uslu, from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Or Güldal Mumcu (CHP), the deputy Vice President of Turkish Parliament, stated that Bülent Arınç (AKP), the deputy Prime Minister, rushed into her office and attempted to give her directions.
Above all, it seems something fishy is going on around this bill. Last week, the Prime Minister Erdoğan dictated that the bill should have passed at the weekend. That’s why the Commission met on Sunday. Although no one, including the Yes-voters of AKP, exactly knows what this bill carries for the sake of the education system, some allegations of the main opposition are worth seriously considering. Aykut Erdoğdu (CHP) stated yesterday right after the bill approved, that billions of dollars would be transferred to 3 companies without making any tender if this bill become law. So it would not be wrong to say that this bill would be the legal cover of a possible corruption. If it would become law including the provisions regarding the state auctions, it will also harm the EU accession process in relate to the chapter ‘Public Procurement’ which has no political or economic blockage by EU.
Too hard to believe in all! The concept of ‘advanced democracy’ argued by AKP is made clear by their fists and kicks to the opposition. It also includes the kidnapping the right to speak of the opposition in such a crucial policy area like education. All who are for the real democracy and progress should also be open-eyed against the corruption allegations. At the most, it should be named as ‘self-democracy’ rather than being ‘advanced’.