Turkey's adversaries in the West have been accusing it of having fallen into authoritarian rule despite fair parliamentary and presidential elections that form the basics of our democracy. The claims are nonsense.
They accuse President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of pushing Turkey gradually into authoritarian rule despite his massive public popularity. The claims are absolute nonsense.
They claim the presidential system of government that was approved by referendum on April 16 this year further consolidates Erdoğan's powers and reduces Parliament into a ceremonial body. This is also nonsense.
What is even sadder is that they use main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu as their spokesman and their man to undertake covert operations in Turkey.
So Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu marches from Ankara to Istanbul on a so-called mission to promote justice in Turkey, blocks the highways and causes serious problems for those traveling between the two cities. Ironically it is Erdoğan and his administration that has to go out of its way to provide massive security for Kılıçdaroğlu so that he can complete this journey safely despite huge security hazards. Would a dictator go out of his way to do all this? Yet Erdoğan is accused of promoting authoritarian rule in Turkey.
Turkey escaped disaster on July 15, 2016, when the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) tried to unseat Erdoğan in a bloody coup attempt with soldiers at its disposal. The soldiers butchered people who tried to foil the coup. The people won! The coup plotters were caught red-handed.
So under these circumstances what would an authoritarian leader do? He would order a massive crackdown against the coup plotters and order them to be killed without any hesitation.
But what happened in Turkey? Instead of summary trials, executions and mystery killings, the coup plotters were caught one by one and handed over to the justice system where they were questioned and jailed pending trial. Now those trials are in progress and the defendants are given every opportunity to defend themselves and even infuriate the public by their provocative conduct. Would any authoritarian regime tolerate such a charade?
That is why the angry relatives of the people who were butchered by these coup plotters are demanding the death sentence for them. But the coup plotters cannot be executed as there is no capital punishment in our laws. So why bother even putting our people through this anguish, just kill them and do away with them. But Turkey is a civilized country, the people who run it are civilized people and they are bound by the rule of law.
Thus they do not order revenge killings.
President Erdoğan could have easily told the security officials to kill every commando that was sent to murder him in Muğla yet he was particular that they should be caught alive and brought to justice… Is this how a dictator works?
Would any authoritarian administration go to pains to review the cases of those who have been fired because of their affiliation to FETÖ by setting up a special commission to handle this issue and also allow those dissatisfied by the rulings of this commission to go to court?