Declaration of Democracy and Freedom
Our Beloved Nation,
6 May 2019 is marked as a black day in our democratic history. This date will never perish from memory.
There has never been another example in our history of law, justice, clean politics, and economic stability being sacrificed for the sake of one man’s personal fears and ambitions.
Enemies of democracy, who trampled upon the people’s clear choice and instructions, took another step on their path of civilian coup d’état and knowingly and intentionally committed a premeditated massacre of justice.
It is plain to see who instigated, summarily executed, and cheered on the 6 May coup. Their names will forever be remembered in condemnation.
What is particularly lamentable for our democracy is that even judges, who are authorized to ensure electoral safety, have also become accomplices in this dirty coup.
Unfortunately, sine qua nons of democracy such as parliamentary oversight, an independent judiciary, an objective media, and civil society participation are already long gone. The one remaining fortress and honour of democratic legitimacy, the ballot box, have been made hostage by the hand of those tasked with protecting that honour to the ambitions of those usurping the national will.
In our country, those who are supposed to fight corruption are corrupt themselves.
Such fundamental values of democracy as rule of law, separation of powers, and suffrage and the right to hold office have clearly been eroded by this judgment.
The instigators and perpetrators of this judgment which diverted the direction of our country from modern civilization to the path of failed Middle Eastern dictatorships shall certainly answer for their deeds before history and in the nation’s conscience.
As members of the Republican People’s Party, which founded the Republic of Turkey and introduced multi-party democracy in our country, we reject this change of direction.
We once again commit, more strongly than ever, to protecting our country’s 180-year-long modernization process, 73-year-long democracy march, and the goal of “catching up with and overtaking modern civilizations” set by our founding leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
It has been witnessed that the political-party presidential system which puts the same person in charge of the country as well as the party has eroded the boundaries between the party in power and the state. Civil inspectors, police officers, prosecutors have been dispatched to the ground directed by the party in power to get the elections renewed. Civil servants have been given instructions for political purposes and pressurized. This system, which erases the boundaries between the party coming into power and the state has manifested itself to be the greatest threat to our democracy.
As the economic problems in our country are becoming increasingly unbearable, unrest is on the rise day by day, internal and external security risks are becoming more and more tangible, now a legitimacy crisis has been added to our myriad problems by none other than those who govern the country.
As members of the Party Assembly and Members of Parliament of the Republican People’s Party, we believe that the following steps must be taken to overcome the legitimacy crisis and to properly protect the integrity of the ballot box:
1- If there is legitimate doubt over the composition of the ballot box committees, then by the same logic, the 16 April constitutional referendum, 24 June presidential and member of parliament elections, and the district mayoral and municipal council elections of 31 March, for which ballots were cast in the same envelopes and put into the same ballot box as the metropolitan municipality mayoral elections must be renewed as well.
2- If an error was committed as regards election boards, the sole party responsible for that error is the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK). The electorate cannot be held liable and punished for YSK’s fault. YSK members must resign en masse for this crime they have committed against the electorate.
3- Regulations shall be made to ensure the impartiality of the Ministers of Interior and Justice during the election periods.
We, the Republican People’s Party members, declare before our nation and history that we are for democracy, rule of law, and full protection of suffrage and the right to hold office.
We publicly commit to maintaining our democratic fight with growing resolve and strong determination, drawing our strength from our people.
We extend our hand to all our citizens, regardless of political ideology and party affiliation, who, at this critical crossroads our country is at, believe in democracy, rights, rule of law, and justice. We wholeheartedly believe that this extended hand will be held even more strongly on 23 June, add strength to our democratic fight, and carry us to a much greater victory than on 31 March.
Republican People’s Party Assembly Members and Members of Parliament