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Racing towards a regret for 'Turkey lost'.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- The "losing Turkey" notion has been in circulation for some time now. It began with the "Sarkozy effect" as well as some other elements of Turkish-EU relations but accelerated quickly after the damage to foreign policy due to ceaseless interventions by President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an, who has shown no interest in any sort of conflict resolution in Turkey's neighborhood.

Particularly since the summer of 2013, when the Gezi protests helped expose the true nature of the then-prime minister of Turkey and the massive internal change in the Justice and Development Party (AKP), whose collective style of management was reduced to the sharply vertical rule of its chairman, the term "losing Turkey" has rapidly gained currency.

The background of the graft probes of Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, which seemed in essence to be about dirty deals with Iran and al-Qaeda figures and the escalation in authoritarian measures at home thereafter, together with the drift in critical foreign policy matters, leave no longer any doubt about reality turning uglier every day.

Before its historic, staunch allies, Turkey is "being lost" before their very eyes. Cynics may argue that it is finally finding its own self; that it was a country whose society perhaps could never come to terms with the spirit of democracy; that its citizenry always fell for the harsh culture of authoritarian behavior -- or rather "patronage"; that perhaps Turkey's best choice for itself would be a wildly open, irregular and, for the capitalists, a favorable market. It would have weak labor rights, combined with the fact that its nature is that of a military force. These views have been voiced, but they are doomed to remain dangerously shallow.

However, there is a disturbing sense of evasiveness regarding all those who for ages have rationally argued that Turkey should remain anchored in the universal values of freedom and rights. They seem to have been affected by the "losing Turkey" signals, but are unable to do much about it. Not that attention has not been paid to it; it's just that not enough attention has been paid.

What more would one need to raise voices than all those major signs of deterioration over the past three or so years? Others see these lands only as business operation centers for quick profits; but again, shallowness applies: Business is about trust and predictability, about expansion and sharing values about a type of morality.

What's more, I consulted with a major expert on the Constitution. After a long pause of silence, he said that "Turkey has reached the end of the judiciary." What is left for us but to say that "losing Turkey" is nearing its completion? It was Ergun Euzbudun, a member of Venice Commission and once the chairman of the unfortunate draft constitution expert commission, who issued those comments upon witnessing that the four prosecutors who oversaw the graft probes had been expelled from their profession.

A drift in foreign policy is one thing; disagreements with allies in world politics are bad signs, but they are often headaches that are curable, mistakes that are corrigible. But when all those issuing alarms about a "losing Turkey" over drifts in foreign policy do not realize the gravity of the suspension of the constitutional order in the country -- and the systemic purges within the key segment of the order, the judiciary, which remind us all of the times of Stalin -- they only help "losing Turkey" become a nightmarish reality.

This is only to state -- and nothing else -- that not only its staunch allies are losing Turkey but it is, more importantly, us who are losing Turkey.

What Euzbudun and several other senior law experts, such as Hikmet Sami TE-rk and Sami Selcuk, who both are figures at the "center," mean when they mention "the end of judiciary" is that there are no more legal bodies -- state institutions that provide checks and balances -- left functioning.

The sense of losing Turkey for Turks plays out in their fear that there is no longer any use in asking the judiciary to establish respect for the law; it is now falling under the control of the executive.

The loss of Turkey will reach its completion if the elections, as the opposition fears, are not overseen by the legal mechanisms. That is how serious the countdown to the elections on June 7 is.

YAVUZ BAYDAR (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:May 14, 2015
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