Barış Terkoğlu

Kılıçdaroğlu's banned video

08 Şubat 2024 Perşembe

We debate this candidate versus that candidate, yet the real choice for Turkey isn't between the candidates in the ballot box. We're heading towards a democracy without brakes, correction, or objection. Meanwhile, the opposition fails to look beyond principle-less candidate debates to find a way out for the system.

Let me give an example...

I have a new decision from the Constitutional Court in front of me.

Remember, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the former chairman of the CHP, once addressed the public with his evening videos. One of them hit a nerve because it targeted drug lords who roamed freely and aimed at the then Interior Minister Soylu.

On October 31, Kılıçdaroğlu and Hacer Foggo, founder and advisor of the CHP Poverty Solidarity Office, appeared before the camera. He shared his 7-minute and 12-second speech with this note: "There's a methamphetamine epidemic in Turkey. The Palace's regime is fueling this epidemic. Don't be fooled by the 'we'll break the legs of drug dealers in front of schools' rhetoric. Today, I will explain how the Palace invites this poison into our streets with dirty money. This is the result of dirty money."

Indeed, a cheap chemical drug named "Metin" was rampant in poor neighborhoods. Tragic family incidents were following one another, to the point where a young man decapitated his mother and threw her head into the street.

There was an economic policy behind the numbing of the poor population, closely related to dirty money. It was the result of the mafia, which settled its international scores on the streets of Istanbul. Politicians who took photos with the mafia and issued them passports were the political culprits of the poison. Kılıçdaroğlu had described this relationship by calling it "Soap Opera Süleyman."

We watched the video, and we discussed it. Then, both Kılıçdaroğlu and Foggo were purged from the CHP. Soylu lost his ministry. What happened next wasn't our concern.


The Interior Ministry, led not by Soylu but by the General Directorate of Security under him, applied to the court for a ban on access to Kılıçdaroğlu's post.

The video criticized those who allowed drug trafficking. Why would the police be disturbed? As we all know, the politician managing the "organization" had used the state's police for his political vendetta. On November 4, the Ankara 4th Penal Court of Peace banned the video. The court's statement was interesting:

"The allegations made do not provide any concrete information, documents, or incidents; the statements made exceed the bounds of political criticism and accuse all state institutions fighting drugs of crimes, thereby undermining confidence in state institutions both domestically and internationally, and the statements are seen as violating personal rights..."

According to the court, criticizing the regulations that facilitate the entry of dirty money into Turkey and targeting politicians photographed with drug lords were undermining trust in the state!

Kılıçdaroğlu's appeals yielded no results. On December 12, his lawyer, Celal Çelik, applied to the Constitutional Court. And the decision came...


The Court didn't directly address Kılıçdaroğlu's application but merged it with a series of cases. Eventually, it ruled that Kılıçdaroğlu's freedom of expression was violated, awarding 18,000 Turkish Lira in moral damages and sending the case back to the Ankara 4th Penal Court of Peace for retrial.

Is compliance mandatory? In theory, yes, but looking at the Can Atalay decision, the judge could say, "What do I care about the Constitutional Court!"

Turkey is moving towards a regime where not even the main opposition leader or presidential candidate can criticize drug use. In a system where the state becomes partisan, the judiciary is at the executive's beck and call, the Parliament is rendered ineffective, and bureaucracy is unregulated, the system loses all its checks. Even if calls to shut down the Constitutional Court don't materialize, by April and May, Erdoğan will sideline the Court by appointing new members. Thus, municipalities, which theoretically have no such role, have become virtually the only point of objection in the system. "Harmony between local and central governments" signifies the government's desire to end all opposition on March 31. The process of the "opposition-less system" that started in May is being rushed to completion in March. The opposition, reducing politics to elections, fails to read the process again by depoliticizing elections and tying them to individuals. This fight over principleless candidacy might just give those who say "the state is mine" the final chance to create "my state."

Waiting for the clouds to clear isn't enough to see the sun. You also need to lift your head and look.

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