Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rule of Law is public good, why not investing in it

  • By Aland Mizell

For many years Turkish government argued the Kurds were mountain Turks and Turkish descendents were forgot to speak Turkish language. In 1983 a law introduce by the military helps us to understand the Turkish Government view of the Kurdish problem. The law will not allow Kurdish people speak their language in public and Kurdish word was forbid from any public sphere. Life without liberty was like a body without spirit. Kurds were body with out spirit. It becomes the focus of debate until recently as Kurdish society and European Union demanded the law is need to be changed and limits on speaking Kurdish language should be removed. For a long time Turkish intellectuals and including government they fail to properly communicate with Kurdish people. Communication is important because it leads to community, that’s is to understanding and mutual valuing. You respect others values you get respect back if you don’t respects others values, you will not get any respect back either.

It is also true to say humans have been involved in conflict and also cooperation since beginning of human history. So many books have been written about war and glory. I do not believe we live in a Hobbesian world of war and hate, people conflict with one another all the time. I do believe cooperation is the more vital and natural states of relation between Kurdish people, as well as among the civil societies and between Turkish government. But when there is no trust and cooperation the consequences can be huge and devastating especially in the era of nuclear events are too real. So therefore its important to keep peace and order and rebuild the trust of the Kurdish people and government and society that changing the old legal system will make great contribution for building the peace and restore the trust. With out right just legal framework there will not be peace and there will not be trust among the Kurdish society and Government. Also there is no right legal framework no sustainable economic development. So Turkish government should change the constitutions and use the new law as a tool for building the trust and development in the South Eastern Turkey. Turkish legal system is the most critical institutions for in the peace-building paradigm because law underlines and identifies social relations and institutions; the rule of law is a public good that yields benefits society over long run. Take for example, the case of Military burned and forced to many Kurdish people leave their houses, many Kurdish people have been kidnapped or killed none know their faith during the military rule in south eastern Turkey. Case like should be resolved including many other cases.

No one questions the important investing education, health, building road, bridges but It is vitally important to invest system of justice just as important as health and education because it is the means by which citizens, can take advantage of incentives to cooperate and find ways to mitigate the negative effects of our conflicts Turkish government should rewrite a democratic and civil constitution and reform the judicial system. As long as Turkish constitution is not rewrite any initiative toward democratic solution to Kurdish question will fail. The main character of Turkish politics is that determined by the Military and Military the one who determines the social, economic, political life of Turkey even tough Turkey has multi party systems but for a long time governments has limited role in the political administration. The framework determined by the Military ideology secularism and nationalism. In the past, When the Civil government tries to prevent this framework; the military stopped through several coup de etas .The main problem of Turkey dealing with fundamental problems are related to this militaristic constitution and judicial systems. The new Constitution should begin from the basic principles of individual’s rights with all citizens being equal of their ethnic or religious background. The new constitution should allow for the expression of cultural diversity. Today highly debated so called Democratic opening which deal with Kurdish question Turkish constitutional court ordered to close the Kurdish DTP party which democratically elected and was Turkeys third biggest party in the parliament How Can trust be rebuilt between Government and Kurds, If still mayors, members of Parliament, parties elected by the people are subjected to going to jail, still Kurdish people being denied in the constitution, still Kurdish people do not have public education in their own language. I am not arguing the new constitution will be able to solve the Kurdish problem, but it will provide a better road toward peaceful solution and will be good start for building the trust. Democratic Constitution will grant such right to the Kurdish people. Will the AKP have power or will reform or change the military biased un democratic constitution drafted un the early 80s that is primarily at keeping the Kurds silent and oppressed? Or will just allow Imam give sermon in Kurdish, so that they can use religion as opium of mass and keep Kurds silent.

The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom. With out changing the new constitution, without sufficient resources invested in the justice system, the delivery of justice and bring law enforcement uncertain. Studies show that strong institutions are important for economic growth and social development because focus on the legal and judicial institutions makes good economic sense. Kurdish people face many barriers to exercise the human rights those barriers are the laws and policies that discriminate against Kurds, inability of Kurds understand the law and enforce their right. Recognizing those barriers has resulted in programs to improve the poor access to justice institution’s support equality of access to justice and reduce or eliminate discrimination in the courts application and enforcement of laws and policies. Resources are needed to improve access to justice, and competence of judges and court personal that are called upon to dispense justice fairly. The rule of law is necessary to prevent the abuse of power. Under the rule of law, government and Military authority may only be exercised in accordance with written laws that are adopted through established procedures. The Justice system is integral to safe guarding society against corrupt and arbitrary ruling. Why not invest in it justice system.

Dr. Aland Mizell is a regular writer and is with the MCI. You may reach the author via email at:

  • - By Aland Mizell