Report: Erdoğan constructing new regime in Turkey by gov’t decrees under rule of emergency

Brussels-based Platform for Peace and Justice (PPJ) has released a new report and underlined that a new regime is being built by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government under the rule of autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by means of government decrees (State of Emergency Decree Laws.)

According to the PPJ’s 30 pages report, a number of unlawful practices have been institutionalized issuing decree laws which result in a antidemocratic authoritarian regime in aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The report has showed that the state of emergency (SoE) decree laws dismissing tens of thousands of civil servants and bringing about comprehensive changes in the judicial and bureaucratic system were promulgated in a very short time following the declaration of the state of emergency.

The report said “This calls into serious doubt that they were prepared in advance and waited for a suitable time and backdrop. This strengthens the possibility that a dictatorial power who had been preparing for a long time to change the regime and the state apparatus was planning to create the reasons for the state of emergency.”

“What is being experienced in Turkey is actually a ‘coup’ staged against the democratic and constitutional regime in Turkey. Turkey, with its current state, is no more part of the democratic Western world,” said the report.

The report has also summarised the radical changes in just 17 months following the controversial coup bid and stated that the Turkish Constitution has been suspended, the judiciary has been subordinated to the executive’s order, a new regime has been constructed by the emergency decree laws, an intelligence state has been created, the crimes have been promoted and the criminals protected, the fundamental rights and freedoms have been eliminated, the right to property has been destroyed, the national will has been disregarded, freedom of the press and information has been wiped out.

Stating that the authoritarianism of Justice and Development Party (AKP) has entered into a new phase of ideology construction and regime building following the mysterious coup attempt of July 15, 2016, the report underlined the fact that Erdoğan and the AKP began consolidating authoritarianism and building a new regime through abolishing democracy, the rule of law and the fundamental human rights.

“In this dictatorial regime, the legislative, executive and judicial organs are completely controlled by a single man,” said the report and added that “Under this regime, the dissents have been facing repression and persecution. Turkish media has been silenced. Number of the journalists held in jail has exceeded 170. Through the decree laws, the government has dismissed around 150,000 civil servants, shut down thousands of associations, foundations, labor unions, schools and medical institutions and media outlets based on a vague definition of terrorism and without any impartial investigation or fair trial.”

The report also stated that “(Turkish) public officials who committed crimes such as violation of the right to life, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, illegal profiling have been taken under protection by the decree laws and thus these crimes have been institutionalized. Through a very recent controversial regulation, even the ordinary people ‘who act within the context of suppressing the coup attempt and the terrorist actions occurred on 15 July 2016 as well as the actions which carry the characteristics of the continuation of such actions’ have been provided with impunity.”

The report, which discusses how democracy, the rule of law and the fundamental human rights are being destroyed by the decree laws in order to establish a new authoritarian regime in Turkey, has underlined the following findings:

“The independence of the judiciary has been inactivated and the judges and the courts were issued instructions, all the judicial bodies have turned into administrative organs executing the orders of the executive.

“The universal legal standards and fundamental human rights such as the national will, the respect for privacy, the right to property, freedom of the press have been suspended and an unquestionable and oppressive government model has been adopted.

“Many crimes defined by universal law such as overthrowing constitutional order and constitutional institutions, hate speech, discrimination, inciting people to hatred and hostility, pillage and plunder, civil death have been committed through SoE decree laws.

“Persons who committed the crimes clearly defined under the universal law such as the violation of the right to life, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, blacklisting have been taken under protection by the SoE decree laws and thus these crimes have been institutionalized and the execution of unlawful orders was made compulsory.

“People were declared as terrorists without relying on any legal basis and judicial process and by violating international legal norms. All the legal and administrative mechanisms were compelled to execute this verdict.

“Since the pressure over the decision-making bodies is extremely intensified with the negative samples, the most paramount sense in the country has become ‘fear.’ Because of murdered prosecutors, detained and dismissed judges on the basis of blacklisting, the journalists, businessmen, lawyers and members of other similar professions, those who refused to become partisan are in fear of failing to cope with the government’s excessive and illegal implementations.

Brussels-based PPJ is a platform that monitors and reports the developments in the fields of peace, justice, democracy, the rule of law and human rights, with a special focus on Turkey. PPJ is currently an online intellectual medium undertaking its work by generating and disseminating news, articles, op-eds, and reports as well as by organizing activities and initiating campaigns. PPJ is an initiative of a group of dedicated scholars, lawyers, journalists and civil society activists.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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