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July 10, 2012, Tuesday

Release of deputies under detention

There is a rising expectation after the adoption of the third judicial package: The release of nine deputies who are currently under detention. In April, the parties in Parliament came close to a consensus over this matter, but the consensus did not result in the adoption of the law. The president even said on April 27 in Çanakkale, “I hope that the trials will be held while the elected deputies perform their job at Parliament.”

Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek made the first call on the release. Noting that the courts may rely on some modern tools and methods such as judicial control in respect to the deputies under arrest, Çiçek said: “I hope that the courts better understood the message that Parliament delivered.”

Just one day after this call, the Diyarbakır 6th High Criminal Court dismissed the motion filed by the defense lawyers of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Şırnak deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız, who has been in custody as a suspect of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) investigation, asking for his release in reference to the 3rd judicial package. The court referred to strong evidence regarding the commission of a crime, charges in connection with the offenses spelled out under Article 100/3 of the anti-terror law and the possibility of running away.  ?

Furthermore, people are now curiousabout the potential decision of the courts in Silivri on the release of the two Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies and one Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy.

I have written extensively on this subject before. The CHP and MHP, in an effort to undermine the coup attempt investigations, nominated people in custody for the elections. By doing this, they wanted to erode the prestige of the judiciary. This was an act of defiance and a challenge to the judicial mechanism. The CHP, which has expressed its opposition to the parliamentary opposition many times, wanted to make sure that its deputies would be protected by the immunity shield. Despite all the criticisms and warnings, the CHP and the MHP did not abandon this position. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Bahçeli  who asked release of the deputies with reference to the will of the people, did not want to remember the honor and dignity of Parliament.

At least 58 percent of voters care about the coup attempt investigation, the expansion of the sphere of freedoms and the process of democratization in this country, as evidenced by the results of the referendum held on Sept. 12, 2010. This majority became concerned before the adoption of the 3rd judicial package that the process might be stalled. After the package became law, these concerns were mostly addressed. Personally, I do not believe that the release of the deputies would undermine the investigations. On the contrary, it may lead to the emergence of a social consensus if the CHP and MHP (I will not say anything about the BDP because of their ambivalence) draw lessons from this process. In other words, if the CHP and the MHP do not make plain propaganda   based on these releases, suggesting that the courts corrected their mistakes, they could serve the emergence of a new mindset and a state of awakening. (I can hear some of our readers saying, “This is impossible.”)

It is not, of course, easy to make explanations to those who uphold that the tutelge regime will be revived, that they would regain their previous strength and positions and that their efforts will work out. But personally, I think that in addition to the 58 percent of the people who supported the process, the remaining 42 percent are also supportive of democratization. If the CHP executives had mobilized the masses and the people by reliance on influential media outlets, if they had sided with democracy and further freedoms and if they had not pursued their policy based on opposition to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), at least 85 percent of voters would have supported the referendum.

Because I hold this view, I believe that we need to tell 27 percent of the voters (85 minus 58 percent) this: In this country, the conservative democrats asking for greater democratization do not hold expectations of revenge or retaliation.

There is an ongoing legal process right now. The proper attitude would be abstention from extrajudicial moves and preferences. This would be unfair, rude and improper. Some of those who have been tried might have done this before; however, those who hold power now should avoid such extreme moves. The people of reason should do the proper thing rather than relying on revengeful acts.

Previous articles of the columnist