"Populism, Authoritarianism and Dictatorship" by Prof. Levent Köker

"Populism, Authoritarianism and Dictatorship" by Prof. Levent Köker



I wish to express my sincere thanks my friend and colleague for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to address some of my ideas to convey some of my thoughts theoretical and thoughts on Turkish case let me begin by reminding you that turkey changed its constitution in 2017 and after June elections 2017 these constitutional changes have become defective in hope so Turkey and actually Turkey had before the changes turkey had a strange somewhat strange fundamentalist and parliamentary system with a relatively strong president now it is some kind of presidential system but those who actually Forge the system to design this Constitution and those who supported politically you collection way they are aware of the fact that this is not an ideal typical presidential system so they invented the Turkish term in Turkish they called it the human right which it cannot be translated into any other language other more question means presidency so some of our colleagues who are working mostly with the government as their academic public relations agency like set up for instance they invented the term presidency system as a kind of translation of documents but to be more honest iemon tamiya a member of parliament from the rock party and he was also the chair of the constitutional committee in the Turkish Parliament he coined the term Turkey style preservation service and I understand the adjectives furnish in the English language context refers to the territory as well ethnic Turkishness but also to Tel Aviv and say Turkish means belonging to Turkey so we can say Turkish presidential system or Turkish style presidential system if you don't want to use presidency at ISM and October and this process of governmental change coincided with an emergency rule actually these constitutional changes and the referendum that took place they all happened within the oppressive atmosphere of the divergences rule which undermines basics of legitimacy smeary but so this is a coincidence of emergency law and constitutional amendments this is important for our discussion and also after these amendments even before the referendum and before the not before the referendum sorry before the 2014 elections 2018 institutions including Council of Europe declared that turkey is not a democracy Turkey's a nun democracy so this is a breaking development years because before the amendments or before the constitutional changes for Turkish style president so he used to be called a semi democracy a flawed democracy or an intellectual democracy or maybe to some some photo scientists prefer Obama's term delegated democracy but now it is an authoritarian system with an adjective capital of the retention is the most popular probably the most preferred term and we use as well popular Italian or Italian populism competitive of the Italians and populist and they go hand in hand here you see some of the leading indices I figured out during my research Vidal is very interesting it's actually these stands for variables or variations I think the political science department project of Gothenburg University in Sweden they actually measured some data and this is interesting because they according to their data said they say the erosion of democracy in Turkey started in 2007 which is in line with and rural Ethel's depiction of turkeys constitutional changes after 2007 as a majoritarian imposition so not Democratic anyway in the same time you see it again 25th of April 2017 almost nine year nine days after the referendum Council of Europe warm turkey back moving away from the Democratic path but still for the Council of Europe observers Turkey is not a dictatorship let me say what I will say in the end now I I think they too should is more appropriate as a theorists you might use we see that Turkey is defined as an advanced democracy in those circles who are sympathetic with presidents and the ATP government's position they said that the new system to Turkish style preservation ISM eliminated tutelary form of democracy and opened up the space for the full realization of popular will or nationally and this is an interesting fact of Turkish political life nation and people so national and popular at the mainstream discourse they are used interchangeably in the beginning in the 1920s maybe I maybe have time to discuss that further related in the 1920s when the Republic was in the making there was a distinction between what people are and nation but that's another story for those who criticize the current state of affairs the Turkish style presidential ism Turkey is a competitive authoritarian regime or most recently the two colleagues actually said Turkey's a dictatorship Orhan Ghazi taken with a judge actually proposed a PhD political science from his Technical University he wrote an article in English saying that emmalin's way is scissors the turkey is actually in or near a situation of civil war and that those Commission's of civil war and produce at the dealership which in the past he wrote an article an article year one in a new journal I think and he/she says if they suffer a saga which is a concept used by a German Constitutional warrior and political theorist of the nuts as a dictatorship where he makes the distinction between a constitutional temporary because it can be salvaged which means concern you mission not do that so my purpose in this paper is find the correct vocabulary or correct conceptual repertoire to account for what's going on in Turkey and it also has a theoretical concern are we trying to explain what's going on in terms of cause and effect analysis which is you might prefer or is the theoreticians task is it too describe what's going on or are you going to opt for a critical perspective well I think I prefer the critical way of looking at things and the critical way of looking at things is the way you are theorizing but you also want that your theory should have practical political consequences you have to say something about the practice so in with this in mind let's briefly look at the new institutions in the 30s style presidential system we have like all presidential systems Turkey now has a modest and universal executive but as opposed to the idea of typical presidential government Turkish style presidential ism has an unaccountable president it is written in the Constitution president is unaccountable except the ballot box so in in elections to be held every five years the president runs for the office for two times for two terms but other than that there is no accountability president is irresponsible Motum Oh but by a translation of the constitutional turn is less foreign in Turkish irresponsible I know it responsible has some other connotations in English maybe suicide there is no like all presidential systems in the Turkish style presentations and there is no organic link between the executive and legislative branches the separation of powers in the ideal typical residential system is something that is instituted because we want checks and balances the legislative must have checking balancing powers missiny the executive transactions in the Turkish case the legislative branch the Turkish Parliament has no power bizarrely the president's transactions only written questions can be submitted for ministers not for the president we cannot ask questions to the president we can only ask questions to ministers and both the ministers and the president can be tried this is a process that resembles impeachment but it requires some qualified majorities to initiate and so they another decrease that might have the effect of a parliamentary act a more but some transactions of the president's office requires and parliamentary approval but some transactions of the president there's no need for financial for instance these might be good things declaration of emergency by the president requires a parliamentary approval immediately budget of the central state or deployment of Armed Forces but president can appoint Nepali ministers but also all high bureaucratic members of the central state administration and no need for a parliamentary approval unlike the United States system you don't need an approval in the Senate for instance and also there are great problems in the system pertained to what is known as Fred mentioned decrease now present I should decrease I don't want to go into a technical discussion on this but there are several problems the first problem is some we have two words in Turkish they both come from the same groups one is the Koran which is a decision and the other is Karen ami which is at the cream or resembles two Americans for executive orders so this distinction is there but we don't know how it will resonate in the judicial section of the Turkish state how the for instance constitutional court will qualify these transactions of the president's I mean presidential decrees are subject to constitutional review by the Constitutional Court but he is going to review the decisions that is not known and we still have an example there are individual resolutions or transactions where appointing someone for a high office there will be and there are he still makes it issuing some Bibles or other regulations that clarify how a certain act staffing law will be implemented but this final aspect the presidential decree with the force of law we don't have that term anymore we don't know how this is going to be tackled legally the very same Presidential Decree in the sense it resembles to the executive decreased with the force of law in the old system in the old system that there was a transfer ministers and the Council of Ministers could have issued executive decree knees with the force of law but that competence of the Council of Ministers was dependent on prior authorization by the Parliament without a prior authorization involved the executive cannot issue decrease with the force over but now the president does not need a prior authorization by the Parliament or a ex post facto approval we can issue he or she can issue decrease with the force of law at whether there are certain limits but we don't know how the judiciary will adjudicate these issues like for instance the president cannot issue decrease with the force of law pertaining to fundamental human rights but he recently issued a presidential not degree this time there's a confusion a presidential decision saying that we cannot run or sell your property with a price that is other than Turkish River this is a interference with the right to property for instance but it is another decree to the decision we don't know to the Council of State Constitution does it matter does it matter not very much because institutions in Turkish style presidential ism the judiciary is under the control of the president you may see here the most important judicial organ organ is the Constitutional Court and Council of judges and prosecutors and the president's office controls almost all the points in the Constitutional Court 12 out of 16 members are appointed by the president unit 3 of 15 by Assembly and Turkish Grand National Assembly has an overwhelming ATP majority and the PP chairman is the president this is the de facto situation and Council of judges and prosecutors is a very important institution becomes this Council appoints almost all judges in the courts of Court of Cassation and Council of State so if you control console of judges and prosecutors you also control the appointments position important the Council of state and the president also has a power to appoint one for members of the Council of State and Supreme Council spring election council that's also so in short the president in the Turkish style present a schism is irresponsible controls the Judiciary it is not responsible or it's not answerable to the Parliament because they of course the executors power but it also has a good portion for there is no power but that is not pronounced there's a after these changes as they stand now Turkish Constitution is a constitution which has conflicting norms but I don't want to go into that but it is a self contradictory Constitution as these changes now stand so and the whole architecture of this so-called Turkish bath residential ism rests on certain principles I mean if you don't like the word Chris and principles or not there is several separation of powers difficult for a presidential system the Turkish system opts for a concentration of powers the situational powers in the office of the president the set of protection of Liberty its stability and more emphasis instead of consensus deliberation consensus building accept that it is effectiveness you have to be fast and the Madisonian fear of tyranny of majority in the American system and I think that is the problem we have politics now these are not constitutional changes and there are not only constitutional changes these constitutional changes actually amount to what we know as regime change so what is the meaning of the new regime when you look at the of the science literature these topics some of them emphasize that some dualisms are either eradicated or that eradicated is a powerful turn but those are still there but they don't work as they use the word before like for instance inspired by admirals the late professor my VIN wrote a very influential article center and periphery a key to understanding Turkish politics with a question mark but that presume are answered by our colleagues in the mainstream Turkish political science yes yes it explains centre and benefit so there's a central state and the periphery which is the people and the people is controlled by the centre of state which is catalyst etc so this is the chemists nation didn't I mean this has been terrific but now the periphery came to the centre and invaded all the institutions there so this might be this is a form of narrating things this is a kind of explanation you might find any for instance as intellectual similar to this there's a dualism in the form of state and people which this might stand for central parity for instance and supporters entities and I here mentioned winning anyway colleague of mine numerous international relations depressed regime change in Turkey he argues that state people dualism is on the way to become extinct but he doesn't deny that the current situation is authoritarian for even dictatorial it doesn't he says there is a certain mrs. AKP is kind of an innocence of the cameras single party theory so maybe this will lead to a democratization of the Turkish state and politics with the elimination of this distinction between state and pupil but more importantly and I think this is more important than the pleadings dualisms is another dualism which the literature I cite here do not emphasize but this is my approach to this literature there is a theory of dual state by a German theorist as Franklin and my new state he means we have a legal state a state that is regulated organized even found legal basis so this is what we might call the constitutional but he also says that medicine extra legal dimension and this state exists in two forms the constitutional and constitutional legal form and the state is subject to constitutional norms legal regulations this is what we know as a if we might use the German term starts with rule of law state but when it's a rule of law it's a turn actually that the connotation the main meaning of rule of law is prior to the state so there's a rule of law state or a state of rule of law which is an awkward English term I think but do you mean that there's a set of norms or rules because it more and that more exists rules of law however in the continental solution which and Franklin has developed a slightly or dual state given on the in the French national in the German solution it is poisonous the French term for the rule of law is to what the net that they dislike it it is the law that is legislated by an organ of an established state that the state must be certain so this don't state as legal state or legal constitutional state and extra legal state and I think this is present this is something that we can defend not only in other continental European state traditions but also in Turkey and we know this extra legal part of the state as deep state the state that functions underground may be illegally we know that state organs and individuals acting in the length of the state are doing illegal things but still they are the workings of the state so Palance regime change and innocence his allegation is claiming that after 80 pieces factorial in the masses of the cameras period there will be these this distinction between these drugs in between state and people will be eliminated but what will happen to the legal constitutional and extra legal or illegal state but dictatorial developments citizen or sovereign the extra legal or illegal state becomes dominant and the rule of law legal constitutional type of state either disappears or it doesn't disappear but it's there but it becomes subject to the extra legal or illegal state so that's what makes it also Italian or dictatorial now this if this is a refugee from a semi 12 election delegated democracy to an authoritarian form of politics we also witness that Turkish political institutions legal institutions have been affected by this change drastically actually the change destroyed whatever that was left in Turkey rule of law of a vegetable state right so if we witness if what we are seeing in Turkey is something like the destruction of the then there has to be something very close to what the political scientists today call populist because one of the most important tenets of contemporary feminism like this it was anti-establishment so if this the rise of echelons of presidency and presidency becoming the chief powerful organ of the Turkish style presidential sense this was something that is working against the Republican establishment as we know in the recent writings I'm Turkish politics you will come across this term populism frequently as well as competative other times it's it's bad but some of them but not all of them mentioned that there is a relationship between actually potent ISM functions as a catalyst we see something similar to the populism in Turkey as well so we might jump in to come to evidence of course so what happens the second security so it's kind of we don't like it but it is normal right I mean it happens in Thailand it even happens in the heart of European Union by hungry there's a pollen be able to kept the United States we haven't to Italian minded misogynist president there was even a protecto dictator but he's surrounded by a powerful checks and balances so he can't move in a federal state with the strong spring water given ecosystem etc we all know the American institutions their powers but we cannot be able to miss thing about the u.s. system they're curious warnings coming from so album's position and Turkish prison that's some populist elements but to work on critical analysis of what's going on in Turkey within the parameters of competitive other types of authoritarian systems and within the context of a discussion of populism I find it somewhat uncommon there's something wrong firstly I think I feel uncomfortable because populism as I said one of the main tenants of popular Zoomers anti-establishment so I belong Turkish Turkish nationalism this destroy the Republican establishment if that's the fact then he's a populist because he was anti establish establishment and anti indeed and I immediately all probably now they have wanted their own new elites for the new regime but let me say this but when this is an argument we out a political option that we set forth including option like we should restore the old pistol create system but previous establishment was bad equal for there were problems with the previous system so if everyone is a populist that destroyed the old establishment we have to restore the all research I think this is something that makes me uncomfortable the argument of populism another thing is when we use the term authoritarianism with an adjective we miss the dictatorial aspect and we have to say this is a dictatorship civic leadership here I'll follow French political theorist any person he wrote a book interesting it's translated into Turkish he wrote an article page the article is entitled the neo-fascist moment of newer liberals not talking about Turkey but talking about USA Europe and other configurations called populist he says these are not populist or authority these are all neo-fascists but the term populist conceals what's behind the scenes and it's substance dictators and he also points to the fact that populism has good and bad memories so right populism right-wing populism is bad like bad cholesterol that's his analogy but there's a good political left wing and this coincides with the Turkish case because in fact when you translate populism there's a Turkish rule of children's and this dates back to nineteen twenties and nineteen twenties debates around the principles of sugar which is derived from which is in fact which was in fact a translation of the Russian it was something good obviously because there was a class analysis at that time and like the Soviet system the dictatorship of the proletariat there's a good dictatorship and a dictatorship bourgeois dictatorship is bad but preparing leadership is dictatorship of the majority majority of people are pretending so in the various contexts 19:20 assembly commemoration of the 99th anniversary was yesterday I think if that various I mean in Ankara people who are debating who is the people and the people who use the hand in the factories that's for sure neighbors people but what about the shopkeepers or lawyers or the Muslims and non Muslims non-muslims they belong to the people so from this background when you say someone a populist it may not be bad okay I mean it may be bad in our minds in the minds of the Opposition but when you say everyone you are popular the supporters would say of course we are populist we are for a populous democracy but what is saying the populous democracy is a communist dictatorship for us so we should see what is there and I think what there is fixed to couch mistake that is my for cautioning there are two conceptions of the paper shaped one is a derivation of the Roman Republican if there's a crisis in the state in the Roman Republic you suspend and a dictator for a limited period of time for six months to be extended for six months the dictator acts and restores the Constitution without any legally binding normative frame so this is a temporary from serial dictatorship this is something that corresponds to state of emergencies in constitutional democracies also we have that in Turkey but the Turkish constitutional system in times of state of emergency this time 2016 2018 two-year emergency rule they destroy all extra constitutional state of emergency which fits into the second conception of parchment sovereignty dictators here now we have a form of dictatorship which also has a mission but sovereign dictatorships mission is not to restore an existing Constitution in a crisis but to constitute a new training a new state so sudden dictatorship is a founder for a new constitution or there's also an evolution and but these are all I give the people constructs and what I'm feeling closer to consonants southern leadership concept because Turkey and has been various times in history 13:10 deep political constitutional crisis the most well known recent crises were 2007 when Turkish Parliament was about to elect a new president the chief of general staff intervene in the process together with the CHP and the Constitutional Court they block the election process by the Parliament so they had early elections constitutional rules have changed for the election of President so we have opted for the president directly elected serving parliamentary form assets right but this was a deep it was not a crisis of Constitution it was a crisis of focus in the sense Col Smith used attorney because forecast it again and this is also a picture in Turkey I think try without a prior political decision on the nature of the nation-state you cannot establish a legitimate and valid constitutional order so here we have a problem utility and that problem came to surface crisis moments so what we call the democratization and the Constitution's I cannot mean the details thank you for your patience but the constitutional innovation is a fact and if you ask questions I can give you some examples so Turkish style transcendentalism is a response to the political constitutional crisis of the state and the president today in the course of these electoral campaigns from the municipal elections elections before that he always is this where the vocabulary saying that this is the endurance of the state is the problem we have to protect the state state always has a primary in the Turkish context like the compliment excellent critical times stay is privatized because I decided to go so you can do illegal things it's just a kiss if you think that the steak is about you so much for the extinction message so those has become maybe I mean legal constitutional state is now destroyed by an extant or entire collection or in hibernation maybe so this may continue this is likely to continue for a more crude more oppressive form of politics with or without it doesn't matter because the constitutional arrangement is typically an unconstitutional I know this contradiction in terms but it's it's a contradiction Constitution so we will need a new paradigm in the future and what I am trying to think about these days is to gather all these analyses together as a basis for thinking wrong if you paradigm and that new paradigm will begin with realizing that there is no sovereign power that would found a constitutional state and we are not living in the April 19 centuries in today's world a sovereign constitution-making process is impossible this is not a theory but it is also practiced for Turkey because even if we abolish this constitution today we also have the still we will still have restrictions for a future Constitution that are jacket down in the three feet of Rosa so there won't be a legal vacuum for Turkey there are always be legal resolutions in international law or in other matters so we have to be aware of the fact that there is no such thing as sovereign Constitution making so there won't be anything like a sovereign constituent power this is something that should be acknowledged in the general public in the elite minds and in other another aspect of the future of Maryland will be that there is no chance of a monocultural poverty for it has to be multi cultural or ruthless

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