Mehmet Ali Güller

Crisis in six points: The regime crisis

06 Ocak 2024 Cumartesi

The Constitutional Court examined the human rights violation application of Hatay deputy Can Atalay and issued a violation decision for the second time. However, the Supreme Court of Appeals 3rd Criminal Division decided for the second time "not to comply" with the Constitutional Court's decision, even claiming that the decision of the Constitutional Court has "no legal value."

This situation represents more than a legal crisis; it is a regime crisis. Here's why:


1) By disregarding Articles 153 and 158 of the constitution, the Supreme Court of Appeals 3rd Criminal Division has effectively dismissed the constitution itself.

According to Article 153 of the constitution, "Decisions of the Constitutional Court are final" and "bind legislative, executive, and judicial organs, administrative authorities, and real and legal persons."

Article 158 states, "In jurisdictional disputes between other courts and the Constitutional Court, the decision of the Constitutional Court shall prevail."

Ignoring these articles, the Supreme Court of Appeals 3rd Criminal Division has effectively negated the Constitution. This is a clear coup against the Constitution!


2) The defense of the Supreme Court of Appeals 3rd Criminal Division’s decision as preventing "Karayılan and other terrorists from entering the parliament" is grave. By this logic, the chief public prosecutor of the Court of Cassation should open a closure case against the AKP for suggesting "negotiation with Öcalan"!

3) Mehmet Akarca, President of the Court of Cassation, commenting on the Constitutional Court’s second violation decision regarding Can Atalay, said: “It’s true we have serious differences of opinion stemming from the interpretation differences in individual applications over the past 5-6 years and the state of the constitution.”

The issue goes beyond "deep differences of opinion." The problem is not the "difference in interpretation," but the "political" attitude that uses this difference to justify violating the constitution.

4) How can the Supreme Court of Appeals 3rd Criminal Division blatantly ignore the Constitution? How can the President of the Court of Cassation justify violating the Constitution over "differences of opinion"? Undoubtedly, with the clear support of the political will, namely the Palace...


So why does the palace want the Can Atalay issue to turn into such a legal crisis? What is their gain?

5) The Palace aims to criminalize Gezi, the June public movement. Millions across Turkey participated in Gezi, and it was the event the AKP feared the most in 22 years. To portray Gezi, one of the most significant social resistances of these lands, as a "crime," it's essential to keep Can Atalay and other Gezi prisoners inside!

6) The ultimate goal of the Palace is to create a "new constitution" out of this crisis! Indeed, Erdogan positioned himself as a "referee" between the Constitutional Court and the Court of Cassation in the first phase of the crisis and then, as the ruling front, argued that "the solution was to make a new constitution."


The AKP's problem with the constitution is not new. Erdogan's unconstitutional election as president for the third time was already a constitutional crisis.

In 22 years, the AKP has almost entirely changed the constitution, dismantled the administrative system, and replaced the parliamentary system with a "one-man regime" of the presidential system.

However, the Palace still has an unachieved goal: It demolished the regime but couldn't fully construct a new one. Thus, Erdogan is trying to legitimize the regime he is building with the "new constitution."

Therefore, the Supreme Court of Appeals 3rd Criminal Division's disregard for constitutional articles and non-compliance with the Constitutional Court's decision represents more than a legal crisis; it's a crisis of the regime.

The opposition must position and act according to this reality.

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