DEMILITARIZATION OF THE GENDARMERIE: AN IMPORTANT STEP IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING RID OF THE TUTELAGE
Today an important issue is discussed in the Parliament’s agenda in the context of the Internal Security Bill: Connecting the Gendarmerie to the Ministry of Interior. I think that this is an important step in the process of getting rid of the military tutelage. I congratulate our government and those who contributed.
Turkey is a country where has been very exposed to the military tutelage. We lived a serial of modern and postmodern coups, memorandums, and coup attempts beginning from 1960 to 2007 as the last act. These were the processes that each democracy was interrupted, thousands of innocent people were exposed to tortures and unlawful proceedings, destroyed families, reduced our joy of life, decreased our productivity, led our economy to be collapsed, and the wealth was redistributed by unlawful ways behind the scenes. The society, which was tossed and turned in the lap of coups, lived traumas, tried to dress a straitjacket on its perception and social structure, could not catch its internal stability in any way and not rest in peace. We vulgarly spent our human resources by the state itself. We forced people to have dual personality. We deprived our scarfed women of the opportunities to get university education and employment in the public administration. We announced the country’s children as the traitor who do not conform to the molds of official ideology and resist not wearing a straitjacket being foreigner to their body. We perished them in prisons and tortures; we prevented them from getting high in their posts; and we deprived them from her personal rights. The results has been ‘Turkey’ as a marginal third world country that can be described as “the scapegoat of foreign powers, at odds own with itself and its neighbors, its per capita income is low that is not able to produce goods and service in a quality to sell in the world.”
It was supposed to be a country that gets out of this vicious circle, ends the military tutelage, dominates the national will, and makes those elected superior to those assigned, and our domestic and foreign policy are determined by the elected politicians authorized by the public. This was necessary for us to increase the growth rate, catch internal peace and stability, develop, and enter in the process of enrichment. Significant progresses were made in the regression of military tutelage regime firstly by the deceased Ozal’s efforts in 1980’s and then by the other steps taken in the true direction, especially thanks to the decisive attitudes showed and the reforms made under the leadership of our President Erdogan in 2000’s. The demilitarization of the Gendarmerie also represents a significant new step in this process. Is it enough? No. Okay, much more needs permanently to end the military tutelage?
There are several reforms needed to do towards attaining a real pluralistic, civil, and democratic regime. 1) A democratic, civil, and liberal Constitution, 2) The removing of the NSC out of a constitutional institution, 3) The connection of the General Staff to the Ministry of Defense, 4) The review of the curricula of military schools from beginning to end, 5) The abrogation of the military judiciary, 6) The privatization of OYAK. We can speak of a real civil democracy if these steps are taken; otherwise, we continue living under the threat of a military tutelage that will strike his head in case of a slightest weakness.
A final note: they will attempt to give the meaning of “hostility of soldier and military” to these lines; they do beat the air! The normalization of soldier-civil relations and the defense of the superiority of the selected ones can never be an enmity of soldier; it is only the need of establishing a real democratic-civil regime. A Turkey, which the patriotism is not measured with destroying, instability, coup, or torture but with the contribution to peace, comfort, stability, and the increment in GDP, will be a self-aware and prosperous Turkey that soldier or civil, all of us will feel himself much more comfortable and happy and instill trust to the friend and fear to the enemy.
Prof. Dr. Mustafa ACAR, Rector of Aksaray University, Strategic Outlook