By Yusuf Kanli
January 29 2016
Turkey’s “high society” of beauty parlour blondes was shocked over reports in social media that a 19-year-old female university student was raped in the backyard of a Bağdad Caddesi apartment by a “married man with two kids.” Would it make any difference if the despicable crime was committed somewhere else and not at Bağdad Caddesi of Istanbul? Would it make much difference if the dastard who committed that crime was nor married or did not have any kids?
Unfortunately, while this country has been boasting about “equality of all in front of the law” as George Orwell wrote in his famous “Animal Farm,” some animals have always been more equal than others, particularly if they are clever enough to appear in the court room with a shaved face, behave well and tell the presiding judge how sorry he was of undertaking such a horrible crime. And, irrespective how many times he might have stabbed his wife with the intention to kill or raped a young woman and condemned her to a life-long psychological problem if nothing else, the judge rules for reduced penalty on grounds of “good behaviour.”
If the woman raped was wearing a mini skirt (worse if she was earning her living through selling her body), rape becomes all the more excusable. If society could turn a blind eye, judges would probably let the culprits free because of the “provocative actions” of the raped women… Sheer insanity. Don’t the judges who make such verdicts have mothers, sisters or a bit of respect for the other half of man?
Now a campaign is underway for the reintroduction of the death penalty so that such a horrible man could face the gallows. Sorry to say but that’s total nonsense. As if anyone was ever executed because of such crimes those artificial blondes of the country’s artificial high society are crying about and for which they are demanding the reintroduction of the death penalty. Do they know what the death penalty is? Do they have any idea what a great struggle was waged in this country to lift the death penalty at a time when its number one public enemy, a notorious chieftain of the separatist gang, was on death row?
It is as if should the country reintroduce the death penalty, rapists would be sentenced to death and such sentences would be carried out. Come on, be serious! In this country, people still remember the executions of the 1980 military era. How many of these people demanding the reinstitution of the death penalty remember the name of 17-year-old Erdal Eren who was hanged by a ruthless regime to establish a balance of executed leftists and rightists?
Turkey is becoming a ghastly totalitarian autocracy. The constitution is not yet there but de facto, the country has moved to a presidential system with the tenant of the exuberant palace dictating everything about the government, civilian and military bureaucracy. The situation of the Turkish media and the climate of freedoms in the country are awful. Many cities and towns have been under curfew and there has been constant confrontation between the military and separatist terrorists since the November 2015 elections. Citizens are leaving their homes and seeking refugee elsewhere while images of towns and cities resemble those of war-ravaged Syria. It’s as if the government and the president are living in another country with no such problems; they appear to be bothered with writing a new constitution and giving all powers to the presidency in a system without checks and balances.
Irrespective of what penalties this country might have in its penal code, rather than reintroducing the death sentence or introducing tougher penalties in hopes of providing domestic security, the mentality must change. The Turkish justice system must be reformed and become independent from politics. Would it mean much if under all that reform touting of the past decade, a prosecutor can still demand two aggravated lifetime jail terms plus 30 years of imprisonment (odd and incomprehensible, I know, but that was the demand of the prosecutor) against Editor-In-Chief Can Dündar and Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gül of daily Cumhuriyet just because they wrote two stories on National Intelligence Agency (MİT) TIRs carrying some nasty material to some people in Syria?
Reading the indictment against these two colleagues, I could not stop myself from saying, “Thank God, the death penalty was lifted.” Why? Because in this country people stealing, raping, siphoning public funds, constructing buildings without any permits, occupying public land… (You continue the list with all the petty crimes that culprits can get away with but talking about these crimes now means years in prison or worse.)…Remember, this week Turkish intellectuals are commemorating the anniversary of the Jan. 24, 1993, murder of Uğur Mumcu in Ankara. Mumcu, an investigative journalist, was last writing about the arms trafficking and finances of the separatist gang.
Reinstitution of death penalty… For what? To hang the journalists?