“We win the elections, but we risk losing Turkey”

Ahead of the meeting of opposition leaders, which he will moderate on March 27 and the details of the transition to the parliamentary system should be on the agenda, Ali Babacan, chairman of the Democracy and Atılım (DEVA) Party, said: “This is a very important step for our democracy. But this is not enough in itself. The signed memorandum is only a target. But we currently have nothing on how to achieve this goal. This is an issue that needs to be worked on. Because the first elections will be held under the current presidential system of government. The transition period between the first election and the date on which the parliamentary system will begin to be put in place is very important. If it is not agreed today, tomorrow will be open to all kinds of disagreements,” he said.

The leader of the DEVA party expressed this assessment during the event “ESİAD Leaders Meeting” organized by the Association of Industrialists and Businessmen of the Aegean (ESİAD) in Izmir. Explaining that he will start talks with the other five opposition leaders, who signed the “Strengthened Parliamentary System” memorandum of understanding, on the transition process from today, Babacan said: “Unless the presidential candidate(s) are promised that they will respect these joint efforts, Turkey could face a chaotic period in the future. We will win the elections, but we risk losing Turkey. Failure of those who win elections and defend democracy to govern is the greatest danger I see right now. Sometimes I look at it, of course, with a very short-term approach, it is said “whatever this power does, no matter what.” Not like that. Our fellow citizens are still hesitant because they partially see it. ‘Okay, let them go, what will replace them?’ they say,” he said.

Noting that a majority in parliament should be secured in order to change the constitution by creating a parliamentary system, Babacan said, “Never in our recent political history has a single party achieved a majority in parliament to change the constitution on its own. same. All constitutional amendments are works made by mutual agreement between the parties,” he said.

“It is not possible to revive the economy in a country where there is no confidence”

In his speech, Babacan also addressed his criticisms to the government and stressed that Turkey’s most important problem is the economic crisis and emphasized the right, freedom and democracy to get out of the crisis: “ We are currently going through a period of great difficulty in all aspects. When you ask people about the problems, they mainly talk about economic problems, they say the cost of living, poverty, unemployment. But when we look at the root cause of these problems, we find that the Turkish rule of law has been increasingly lost in recent years. We see that the environment of freedom in Turkey is shrinking. Economics is such a field that economics rests on a foundation. On this basis, there is law, justice, freedoms, human rights and democracy. You can’t build a solid economy on that basis if you don’t lay a solid foundation. Investing requires trust. You will encounter such a crisis in a country where there is no environment of trust. It is not possible to improve the economy in a country where there is no trust. Turkey is going through this right now. The most important reasons are the concentration of the administration in one hand, the weakness of democracy, the restriction of freedoms and the inefficiency of the law.

“Turkey will emerge from this economic crisis in six months at most”

Babacan said his party has prepared and publicly announced action plans that offer solutions to Turkey’s problems, adding, “We will complete these action plans in every area you can think of. With more than 1000 actions, we will determine in detail the roadmap of the process ahead. We explained what, how to do and what law to adopt. We say “that’s what we will do when we get permission”. We even tell you what to do within the first 90 minutes. For example, freedoms, the independence of justice. We don’t need a regulation for these. The pressure on the press has no legal basis. Currently, there is no legal basis for non-governmental organizations and professional organizations not to speak out. There is real pressure. The current government silences people with encouragement or threats. With an explanation within the first 90 minutes, this climate can be changed. The current crisis lasts six months at most. In a maximum of six months, Turkey will emerge from this environment of economic crisis,” he said.

“We wanted to be a Turkish party and we are doing it”

Noting that they founded the DEVA party, believing that a new political movement is needed in Turkey, Babacan said, “We had social research done in 2018-2019. We have seen that if our citizens currently vote for the party in power, they give this support because they fear the worst. They support the ruling party, not for the better, but because “what if I lose what I have”. The main motivation of our fellow citizens who support the opposition parties is the logic of ‘let’s get rid of this government as soon as possible, whatever happens’. Nor do they believe that the political parties they support can do so. We have started a new political movement because we clearly see this picture,” he said.

Stating that there are areas where other political parties are strong and weak, Babacan said, “We conducted a search among our members and 33% of our members previously belonged to the AK party, 20% to the CHP, 10 % in the HDP, and 10% in the HDP, the people who voted for the Good Party and 5 to 6% for the MHP. About 15% of people have never voted for a political party before. We wanted to be a Turkish party and we are. There are neighborhoods in Izmir where the AKP party does politics easily and encounters difficulties. There are neighborhoods where the CHP has a very tough policy. But we can operate very comfortably in 30 districts. We see the same interest not only in Izmir but also all over Turkey. Because we do not do identity politics or narrow ideological politics. Our common vision is a free, fair and wealthy Turkey,” he said.

“When the day of the modification of the electoral law comes, he will walk on his feet”

Responding to businessmen’s questions after his speech, the leader of the DEVA party said the following regarding the proposal to amend the electoral law submitted by the AKP and the MHP to Parliament: “At the moment, the draft bill submitted by the government to Parliament has not taken its form yet. We will make our final assessment once this proposal becomes law in Parliament. According to our constitution, such changes can only be implemented within a year. after the amendment. It does not apply to previous elections. That is the crux of the matter. In other words, when we look at this proposal, we see that the results of the 2018 elections are looked at. If the rules of the 2018 elections were applied like other rules, and not like the current rules, this proposal was prepared with the calculation that “so many deputies that the ruling party would win more, so many deputies than the junior partner in power would earn more”. However, politics is a very dynamic process. It is very difficult to keep this count when you take the results of the elections in 2018 and project yourself towards the elections which will be held a year later, in 2023 at the earliest. Because the trends are working against the ruling party, it is constantly in a downward trend. The changes they have made are to give more MPs to parties that receive the most support, and to give no MPs to parties that receive less support. It is really a strange thing that they did not calculate that when the day came they would turn around and walk on their own feet. We see that these changes also came to the fore in our recent political history, when governments realized they were losing power and would lose elections.

“The important thing is to win the presidency”

Babacan said the possibility of the election date being May-June 2023 has increased with the change in the law and said, “We must always consider the possibility of a dominant election.” Emphasizing that opposition parties should always keep the dialogue warm during this process, Babacan said, “Let’s not forget that in the presidential system, in the current system, the election of the president is the key issue. The latest proposal is just a calculation of where a few MPs will move to in parliament. In fact, the emphasis is in the wrong place. The important thing here is to win the presidency. Predetermine the framework of what the winning president will do. Therefore, with this latest proposal, the government is trying to hide the big picture from the other side by drawing attention to mathematical formulas, showing the nation the acrobat. The current system does not give much power to parliament after it fails to take over the presidency. The parliament will be strengthened with the strengthened parliamentary system,” he said.

Babacan also touched on the presidential candidate debate saying, “We don’t think there’s much point in discussing who will be the presidential candidate at an early stage, given the possibility let the election be on time. Although this is the sensational and interesting part when you start arguing over people, we think the order is not correct. Let’s first decide what we’re going to do, then see who can do it. We believe closing the door to narrow party interests, narrow party or individual ambitions and talking about what we are going to do will bring much more beneficial results for Turkey,” he said.

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