Author : Hurriyet Dailynews

Posted : April 22, 2017





Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said that Turkey’s Constitutional Court and the Council of State have no option but to reject the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) appeal to annul the Supreme Election Board’s (YSK) decision that changed the legal criteria of the validity of unsealed ballots on referendum day.


“The duty of examining all corruptions, objections and complaints regarding election issues and make a final decision about them belongs to the Supreme Election Board. No appeals can be made against the YSK decision to any court or authority, including the Council of State and Constitutional Court,” Bozdağ tweeted on April 22, as he added that if an appeal is made “despite the aforementioned fact, then the courts have no option but to reject them.”


The YSK decision to accept unstamped ballot papers “unless it can be proved that they were brought from outside the voting room” sparked a major debate on the results of the referendum, in which the “yes” campaign emerged as the winner with 51.4 percent of the votes.


Saying that the Constitutional Court ruled for “inadmissibility” and the Council of State ruled for rejection countless times, Bozdağ noted that the rulings of the Constitutional Court and the processes that are left out of judicial control by the charter can’t be subjects of individual applications.


“There is no decision above the people’s decision in democracies. The judiciary, which makes decisions on behalf of the people, can’t issue a ruling above the decision of the people made in the ballot box. No appeals can be made to any court or authority against the decision of the people. No court can change or reverse the decision made by the people. The referendum results and the people’s will can’t be ignored or changed via a court ruling. The decision of the people binds everyone,” he added.


Bozdağ also said that democrats and those who trust the people have to accept the people’s decision and respect it, even if the outcome is not what they wanted to be.


“However, those who are not democrats and don’t trust the people don’t accept and respect the people’s decision. The CHP is pretending to be a democrat, but it doesn’t act that way. It says that it is democrat, but doesn’t trust the people. Can there be such a thing as a democrat who doesn’t trust the people? The CHP couldn’t internalize democracy and couldn’t accept the people’s will,” he said.


Saying that the CHP ignores the people’s will and law, Bozdağ noted that the main opposition “can’t obtain the results it couldn’t get from the people from the courts that make decisions on behalf of the people.”


“Why do you think the CHP is taking the legal way even though the constitution states that no applications can be made against the YSK decision?” he added.


CHP slams Bozdağ’s remarks


Bozdağ’s remarks were met with harsh criticism from the CHP, with the party’s group deputy chairman Levent Gök saying that “the justice minister committed a constitutional crime.”


“Since when the president, prime minister and justice minister perceive legitimate search for rights as inappropriate? Justice minister is giving orders to the judges. There is a threat behind saying ‘CHP can’t appeal.’ There is an understanding of ‘Look, don’t make mistakes,’” Gök told journalists in a press briefing on April 22.




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