ceemac

Shake It Baby...
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
A few days ago the Turkish parliament introduced a law that made it possible to prosecute military personnel in a civilian court for crimes committed during peacetime (which would include plotting against the government)

This comes following a plot to overthrow the AKP government and the Gulen movement, apparently signed by an army officer.

The law has yet to be passed though (needs to be approved by President Gul) and the opposition party are against it as they say it violates the Turkish constitution.

I think a true democracy would not have it's armed forces waiting in the wings to seize power if a government was not to their liking so it'll be interesting to see the outcome.

C
 
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
hi Pebs, nice to see you are still in debating mode, keeps your mind occupied...i agree with you things are hotting up.
although i have to disagree with some of Craigs appraisal of the situation. The Military here are the protectors of democracy even though to us that may seem like a contradiction in terms.
When the Military were given these powers it was with the knowledge that democracy was new and transient and there were many forces against it. Today those forces are still around and in my opinion gaining ground, the majority of people trust the Military more than they do the governments that come and go.
 

RIK

Member
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
Hi Shirley.I have to agree with you.Without the military I suspect that we would not be here.

Ian
 

ceemac

Shake It Baby...
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
It doesn't seem compatable with democracy though is all I'm saying.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing but the EU will probably not allow a member state to have this 'arrangement'.

C
 

immac

Senior Member Has-Been
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
Turkey either wants a democracy, or it does not. A state that has the military deciding what is OK and what is not, is not a democracy. The military in any democracy should be accountable to the elected representatives of the people, and restrict themselves to things military within that framework.
Ian
 

pebble

Member
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
The generals are the watchdog of Turkey's democracy. They step in when needed. I have always been in favor of them taking control. They rarely overstep their bounderies, in the past, when they have stepped in, they have quickly brought things to the point needed for the government or newly elected government to turn things around.
Turkey was set up with this "balance and checks" system for a reason. Turkey was committed to keep religion and state separate, in this case, with our present government, it has all gone awry, and the generals should have stepped before this. But the present religious government has been behind the scenes doing everything to strip the military. The whole Ergenekon scandal is just a scratch of the surface.


Shirley, you can explain it better, but we are of a like mind, I know you know what I am trying to say, I just cant seem to make sense of my words to formulate it in a way to make it understood.
But we know why this check/balance system is in place. explain it, most foreigners just dont understand that the generals are our friends....not our enemy,. they may seem like it, but they are the protector of Turkey's democacry.

sorry to ramble
 

immac

Senior Member Has-Been
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
The generals are the watchdog of Turkey's democracy. They step in when needed. I have always been in favor of them taking control. They rarely overstep their bounderies,
But we know why this check/balance system is in place. explain it, most foreigners just dont understand that the generals are our friends....not our enemy,. they may seem like it, but they are the protector of Turkey's democacry.
This is, of course, rubbish. What you are demonstrating is a complete lack of understanding of the meaning of "democracy". What you are advocating is a military state that allows the elected body to play at being in control.

Ian
 

Saoirse

Moderator
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
Turkey either wants a democracy, or it does not. A state that has the military deciding what is OK and what is not, is not a democracy. The military in any democracy should be accountable to the elected representatives of the people, and restrict themselves to things military within that framework.
Ian

99% of the time I think what you are saying on this is true. However if it were to be a choice between an extremist regime, or the military guarenteeing more freedom, surely theres maybe a case for their intervention. Very difficult subject as its not black and white

To quote a hero of mine Lenin-...."It is true that liberty is precious , so precious that it must be carefully rationed"
 
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immac

Senior Member Has-Been
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
"It is true that liberty is precious , so precious that it must be carefully rationed" - I see you shrink from putting the author - Lenin - on the quote. I am not surprised as it hardly ranks as the best source for an argument on democracy.
Ian
 
M

Mack

Guest
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
While I dont have any faith in the modern interpretation of a so called "democracy" anyway I think this is the only system that would work here in modernday Turkey, its almost as if the military are the babysitter looking after Ataturks baby (the "Democratic" process) and following a list of rules left for them till its old enough to fend for itself.

The huge possibilities for greed and corruption that a modern "democracy" brings may just tempt a few individuals not as moral as the rest of us to abuse the system and break fathers rules to further their own agenda. (Yes I know that happening everywhere but given the relative youth of a secular state here and a seeming inherent proclivity of many citizens for dishonesty when faced with a quick buck, no effective system of accountability setup for the non-serious-criminal aspects of democratic life, its double trouble and more open to abuse that older more established dictatorocracies).

While they are learning what a real "democracy" is, hiding and covering the abuses and keep their citizens in the dark while acting above the law as the West has done, the Army is there to slap them if they stray too far from Fathers rules.

If you have to have it and you want to avoid the pillaging of the country after "democracy" is introduced perhaps its a reasonable "check and balance" to have, maybe Ataturk had a feeling that perhaps some his fellow countrymen may be prone to the temptations of greed and power and may even use religion as a political tool? Always Keep Partying. :)

Turkey uses the army internally when needed to protect the citizens from THE GOVERNMENT, most western countries with the repeal of the posse comitatus act in the US and similar laws across Europe, the west has prepared the legal groundwork to legally allow the use of their (and foreign) armies against their own people to protect the government from THE CITIZENS, neither is a good situation but I know which one Id rather be under the "protection" of when the sh!t hits the fan.
 

Number6

Member
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
Well said. It should also be noted that there have been a number of military coups in the last few decades, and they have been mainly to eject undesirable islamic political agendas being introduced. Contary to what you would expect they have, been in the main, welcomed by the general population in removing unconstitutsional goverments.
Removing the Army's power in this would be far more dangerous to "democracy" than keeping it.
 
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
I do not claim to know lots about the political situation in Turkey but I feel I have to agree with those who say the presence and influence of the army has been to the good of Turkey and not the bad.

While it would seem contrary to democracy to allow an armed body to oversee and have such influence in a countries affairs, there seems little doubt to me that Ataturk's vision of a modern secular state while preserving the values of islam has only been maintained by the impact of the army that he moulded.

I also agree that our presence in Turkey as holiday makers, residents and investors is only welcome because of the changes that Ataturk brought to Turkey. I am quite fearful about the rise of more traditionalist islamic politicians led by their faith and not the ideals of modern Turkey and what effect this will have on the Turkey that I love in years to come.

Is it possible that should the army withdraw it's influence and the religious face of politics takes the lead that Turkey will become like other Islamic countries that have decidedly dubious records on the democracy front...

Just a thought...
 

immac

Senior Member Has-Been
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
What a patronising bunch you are: they, the child-like people of Turkey, don't know what's best for them so we will allow a non-elected military to run a parallel state ready to slap down anything they don't like - can't you see any flaw in your statements?

Call it what you like, but don't call it democracy.

Ian
 
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
the present Party are democratically elected...but in themselves are not Democratic. When you have a leader that can say ''Democracy is like a bus,you get off when it comes to your stop'' it doesnt give you much faith in the present governments real agenda.
Democracy in Turkey was wrestled from the constraints of the Mullahs and without the Military life in Turkey would be more akin to İran. Maybe some people might find that a better way to go than the way European society is disintegrating.
İ wonder how we can really define Democracy nowadays, when elected governments in spite of massive public opposition still go their own way.
Democracy as a regime falls far short of its ideals.
 

Guz1

Member
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I can't understand the assertion that unelected generals are more popular than a government that romped home in a free and fair election. The general population in most countries hold their armed forces in high esteem. That doesn't mean that the people have a particular affection for high ranking army personnel. It usually means that the population identifies with the rank and file soldiers.

Could it be that in Turkey people who don't accept the will of the people as expressed in the ballot box are using the popularity of ordinary soldiers to suggest that high ranking officers have the right commit what would be considered treason in most countries?

P.S. to Shirley: There's a huge difference between Attaturk wresting power from the Mullahs and a few generals ousting an elected Government.
 
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Number6

Member
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
What a patronising bunch you are: they, the child-like people of Turkey, don't know what's best for them so we will allow a non-elected military to run a parallel state ready to slap down anything they don't like - can't you see any flaw in your statements?

Call it what you like, but don't call it democracy.

Ian

They are not child-like and they DO know what's best for them. Which is why the army remains a trusted institution, unlike some of the political parties.
 
Turkish Army Brought To Heel?
I'm sorry Immac but who is saying the people of Turkey are child like, except in your post.
You are right in that Turkey does not represent the traditional vision of democracy but Turkey is not the UK or USA, it cannot be judged by the same standards and nor should it.
You do not seem open to the possibility that for Turkey they have a balance that monitors the religious leanings of the government and ensures that the people of Turkey are paramount. The army is for the people and secularity. Their influence means that the people of Turkey can go about their business without the fear that comes from religious police such as we have seen in Iran in the last few weeks, they can speak their minds more than in religiously led Muslim countries.
The army whether you like it or not is a means by which the everyday people of Turkey can have some mind of their own and not be dictated to by the religious ideals of the state.
OK not elected and thereby not democratic but I do not see many Turks complaining about the army they are so proud of. I am not saying everything the army does is good but they are a calming influence on what could become a right wing political situation quite easily...
 

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