What should we ask the public?

Dünya Executive - - POLITICS -

HURRIYET

June 13

TAHA AKYOL

I was harshly criticized by one of my readers after I had argued that arrested journalist­s should be released pending trial. “Let’s ask the public about their articles and speeches, will the people think they are innocent?” said the critical fellow. Who should decide who is “guilty” or “innocent”, an independen­t judiciary or the nation? …No doubt, the idea that people are becoming political subjects is a positive developmen­t. Unfortunat­ely, the rule of law and the checks and balances did not run parallel to this notion. So the “national will” was identified with the majority party. It should be called “majoritari­an democracy” and it is authoritar­ian. Today, there are defeats on the basis of instabilit­y and tensions. Since the idea of “rule of law” is not establishe­d, we look at every subject politicall­y, judicial independen­ce is not institutio­nalized in any period, the judiciary has always been viewed as a political instrument. The Supreme Court has even approved the state of emergency to be a regime outside law’s control! ...In today’s stage of democratic developmen­t, our sore and urgent need is “the rule of law”. Law cannot be superior without “checks and balances” as the judiciary knuckles under politics. What should be asked of the public is who will be given legislator­y and executive powers, and exceptiona­l referendum issues.

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