Parliament Speaker Bülent Arınç on Thursday dismissed claims that the regime in Turkey was in danger, saying "the powers of the founders of the regime" were in jeopardy due to the rise of ordinary people to economic and political power vis-à-vis the traditional bureaucracy.
In a televised interview with journalist Taha Akyol, Arınç asserted that those who claimed the regime in Turkey is in danger were suffering from a paranoia being spread by people who aimed to perpetuate an atmosphere of conflict in the country.
In response to a question inquiring as to whether his observations were a response to earlier remarks by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) was a threat to the country's secular institutions, Arınç said: "I am the head of a civilian institution; the parliament. I voice my own thoughts," and continued: "Mr. Sezer might have said something like that. I express my own thoughts as a civilian," he said.Arınç said although there could be scarce and marginal groups that indeed constitute a threat to the country’s regime, there were also means with which to battle this. The parliament speaker expressed his belief that constant paranoia and fear, which he said were ungrounded, about the fate of the regime were preventing Turkey from increasing the sphere of individual rights and freedoms. “This prevents us from solving Turkey’s most deep-rooted problems,” he added.
In response to Akyol’s question on whether he believed the president should be elected by popular vote, Arınç said a recent Constitutional Court decision which established that at least 367 deputies had to be present in a parliamentary vote for a presidential election to be considered valid made it practically impossible to hold a presidential vote in Parliament, hinting that either the current parliament or the newly elected one was likely to be obliged to take the presidential vote to the people.
Arınç said if that happened, he would support changes to the powers and the term in office of the presidential post. In response to a question as to whether he would consider running as a presidential candidate himself, Arınç said it was too early to answer such a question either way.
In an evaluation of the recent demonstrations, where hundreds of thousands marched protesting against the government, he said: “I have no problem with the slogans that were chanted with Turkish flags and with the concepts the people there accept. I could have been one among them, and that would not have been difficult for me. I would like to hear everybody say the things they say,” however he expressed that it was erroneous to direct these emotions toward a single organization or individual.
The parliament speaker also shared his own forecast for the general elections: “Most probably, we will see a two-party parliament again after this election. Still, a third party in Parliament would not be a big surprise,” however, he did not name any specific political parties.
Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2007, 17:40