Kürkçü: What ever may be the results, 24 June elections will have a tremendous impact on Turkeys future

İzmir MP Ertuğrul Kürkçü gave a brief speech at The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on behalf of The European United Left Group.

Mr. President and dear colleagues,

I would like to draw the attention of Members to the snap general election called by the ruling AKP-MHP coalition for 24 June, following repeated oaths and promises by the president that the elections would be held as scheduled by law, which were accompanied by gross charges against politicians and analysts who pointed out the possibility of early elections. The snap election called by coalition leaders was justified by immediate and urgent security concerns, but a legal framework for them has yet to be legislated on.

Turkey’s democratic public opinion has already dubbed these elections an ambush against the CHP opposition. Given the fait accompli, Turkey’s democratic and social opposition forces have decided to reverse the ambush and transform the elections into an arena to fight for democratic change. Whatever the results, the 24 June elections will have a tremendous impact on Turkey’s future. Turkey’s electorate, following the controversial constitutional amendments on 16 April 2017, are being called to go to polls to decide whether the country will be ruled by a disproportionately empowered presidential system, which will bring the functioning of the seperation of powers to an end and hand Turkey over to one-man rule, or whether the country will reclaim parliamentary rule and refute the illiberal and anti-democratic ambitions that are turning Turkey away from the rule of law, democracy and human rights.

The Assembly cannot – we hope it will not – remain indifferent to a possible rift that may follow the 24 June elections, depending on the results. With its historic progress from a religious empire to a secular republic in the last century; with its geographical position, a country channelling Asia and Eurasia to Europe, the Middle East to the Caucasus and the Balkans; the Black Sea to the Mediterranean; with its 80 million multi-ethnic population comprising 28 different languages, many forms of beliefs and religions; and with its age-old problems as well as enormous potential for change, a major shift in Turkey’s political system and social and political preferences would exercise an enormous impact on the function and realignment of political forces across Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

I would like to raise the call, on behalf of the UEL, for the Assembly to follow the 24 June snap elections with a well-formed observation mission and with its utmost attention. I inform the Assembly that all the flaws, unevenness and inequalities mentioned in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe observation mission report on 16 April 2017 referendum have been forged into election laws while the government has, for the seventh time, prolonged the emergency period to cover the election period. The Assembly should immediately and very attentively follow what is happening and what will happen in Turkey before it is too late. Thank you for your attention.

23 April 2018