Connect with us

Middle East

A new international Conference on Libya



The current situation in Libya is far from simple.

 In April 2019, Khalifa Haftar received from the new Russian envoy, Lev Dengov, the polite order not to reach Tripoli, which – however – is already surrounded from the South by the forces of the Benghazi General.

 The conquest of Tripoli would not be the beginning of the unification of the two parts of the old unitary Libya of Gaddafi (and of Italo Balbo, who delayed – as much as possible – the implementation of racial laws in the Tripoli Governorate).

 Tripoli’s Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Al-Sarraj, is still the only one recognized by the UN and it has already budgeted 2 billion dinars, equivalent to 1.43 billion US dollars, to fund the war against Benghazi for the renewed control of the capital city by the GNA forces.

 Funds to be provided without resorting to foreign loans, as Tripoli made it clear.

 The funding for Tripoli’s government stemsabove all from the oil sale – currently 928,000 barrels a day – with 1.87 billion US dollars of net revenue, according to the latest data of April 2019.

 Furthermore, Al-Sarraj acquires other funds from zero-interest loans from local banks to the Central Bankand finally from a 183% tax on foreign transactions made at official rates, namely 1.4 dinars on the US dollar.

 The centralized collection of taxes, however, is decreasing ever more every day, even in the oil sector, and the leaders of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) constantly complain about thefts and numerous unlawful acts.

 As Hobbes used to say, if there is no fear, the “universal and legitimate condition of equality between men”, the clash between individuals leads to mutual aggression and results in bellum omnium contra omnes.

 Hence the need for a pact between “subjects” that puts an end to the war of everybody against everybody else.

 Indeed, we must apply Hobbes’ thinking to Libya.

 As well as Machiavelli’s, when he reminds us that “ruling means to make people believe” and that “there is no avoiding war, it can only be postponed to the advantage of others”. Hence we need to immediately find a Libyan leader who – unlike Gaddafi, who discovered the Italian intelligence services in a meeting in Abano Terme – can reunite the country by “taking advantage of the beast and the man”, just to put it again in Machiavelli’s words.

 This is the law of every “failed State”, due to the implosion of its central authority, which generates a crisis of confidence among all participants in the imaginative and yet real agreement to end the war of everybody against everybody else – which is exactly what is happening in Libya.

 The unitary Libyan State failed not for its territorial extension, but for its lack – or illegitimacy for its subjects – of recourse to the use of force. In Gaddafi’s case, the use of force was materially prevented by Westerners, who wanted to get rid of him, after having squeezed him like a lemon of the many trees in Tripoli’s promenade.

 As clearly stated in the Resolutions of the UN Security Council, however, General Haftar cannot sell the oil extracted from the territory under his control – although some trafficking has already taken place.

  As the Security Council itself has recently decided, these Resolutions will be extended until 2020, albeit with the abstention of Russia and China.

 General Haftar failed to conquer Tripoli, but instead hired a US political lobbying firm, Linden Government Solutions, for as many as 120,000 US dollars.

 The firm has already spoken to President Trump, who is very careful about this type of advisory services.

 General Haftar had already drafted an advisory contract with a Montreal-based consulting firm, Dickens & Madison, led by Ari Ben Menashe, a former Israeli military intelligence officer.

 Hence, considering that General Haftar cannot use his oil proceeds on his own, he must operate with an account opened with the Central Bank of Libya long time ago, but both NOC and the Central Bank are obviously linked to  Al-Sarraj’s government.

 General Haftar’s attempts to sell oil on his own were partly blocked directly by the United States.

 The conquest – albeit temporary – of the Fezzan tribes by Tobruk’s General and his rapid advance towards the areas of Al-Sarraj’s government were funded mainly by the dinars printed in Russia.

 As is well-known, the Central Bank in Al-Bayda, namely General Haftar’s monetary entity of reference, split from the Central Bank of Tripoli in 2014.

  As stated by Governor Al-Hibri, currently reserves amount to 800 million dinars, 60 million euros and 80 million US dollars.

 The dinars printed in Russia – those with Muammar al- Gaddafi’s profile – even with the consent of the House of Representatives- amounted to 9.7 billion over a period of three years.

 They amounted to 4 billion in 2016, 4 in 2017 and 1.7 in 2018.

For General Haftar, this money is mainly used to buy the Southern tribes and the mercenaries, from various parts of Africa and the Arab world, they use to fight GNA.

 On Al-Sarraj side, however, the resources are equally drained by the need to pay his own mercenaries, who act both as internal security forces and as military groups against General Haftar.

 Al-Bayda’s Libyan East sold its government bonds for a total amount of 35 billion dinars, but outside the official financial channels, considering that the Bank of Tripoli funds – in the East – only the wage bill of those who were civil servants before 2014.

 Conversely, the Tripoli government spends an annual amount of 48.6 billion dinars, especially for the public sector’s wages and the subsidies for gasoline purchase.

 The debt-to-GDP ratio of the GNA government in Tripoli is equal to 143%, with 70% of public spending going exactly on wages and salaries.

 With specific reference to the two Libyan Central Banks, it should also be recalled that the establishment of the Central Bank in Al-Bayda in 2014 caused the interruption of the automatic clearing system with the Central Bank of Tripoli, namely the Real Time Gross Settlement. Later, apart from a few money transfers from Tripoli, in the East they sustained themselves by simply printing banknotes – as in the Weimar Republic -to the tune of 7 billion US dollars, equivalent to 10 billion dinars.

 Does the global oil market need a producer like Libya undergoing an uncontrollable inflationary crisis? What would happen to OPEC and the other oil producers?

 Hence the need for a Dawes-style plan, like the one for Weimar’s Germany, rescuing us from the Libyan contagion. How? Taking the formal value of wells into account? Calculating the nominal value of current or future concessions and licenses?

 Certainly we could not draw up a budget by calculating the value of locomotives, as Dawes did for Weimar’s Germany.

 The debt allocated in securities by the East-Libyan government, issued between 2015 and 2018, is currently worth 35 billion dinars, equivalent to 25 billion US dollars- a50% of which is still used to fund General Haftar’s forces.

 Since 2017 the Tripoli government’s revenue deficit, concerning above all the fall in oil price and extraction, has reached approximately 15 billion US dollars a year.

 Hence, considering expenses and lost revenue, currently the Tripoli government’s deficit is supposed to be 62 billion dinars, equivalent to 44 billion US dollars.

 The Libyan East, however, signs checks from standard current accounts for its employees, that are changed and paid by the private banks where the employees have their own accounts.

 Hence a system has been created parallel to the RTGS system, which applies to the official relations with Tripoli, and another one, which links the Benghazi-Tobruk government to all the Libyan private banks, including those in the West.

 Hence the banks held their first guarantee system with the Central Bank of Tripoli and accumulated reserves and credits to support the operations ordered by the Central Bank in Al-Bayda.

 The problem lies in the fact that the international financial institutions recognize Tripoli’s debt, but not Al-Bayda’s.

 Currently commercial banks have 21 billion dinars of credits with East Benghazi banks, equivalent to 15 billion US dollars. This obviously leads to the fall in deposits.

 In mid-March 2019, bank deposits in the Central Bank of  Tripoli ranged between one and two billion dinars, but in the East they amounted to six billion.

 A trade war disguised as a banking war.

 This is certainly one of the reasons underlying the acceleration of war throughout Libya.

  No defense and no advance can be maintained with these internal economies.

 Nevertheless, if Haftar or Al-Sarraj fall, the funding of the two wars will take place completely “off the books”, as is still the case for the support of the jihad.

 The latest polls show that 37% of Libyans want safety and security, in particular.

 Whoever guarantees to put an end to the bloodshed in the streets wins the hearts of all Libyans. As would happen everywhere.

 “Forgiveness” and “justice”, which are certainly not synonymous, rank second for Libyans (25%). This is a sign that, however, the sectarian tension and the war between factions have reached their psychological limit, which is also a limit to everyday recruitment and political bias and partisanship.

 “Restorative” justice, in a context like the Libyan one, is favoured compared to “criminal or punitive justice”.

In other words, both in the East and in the West, the Libyan people want the return of what has been removed, the restitution of property – maybe even incomplete –  in exchange for the undeterred, undaunted and useless continuation of the clash, or the dream of future reintegration at the end of the fight.

  A metaphysical term, which is not used by chance.

 40% of the Libyans interviewed by various Western research centers – and we consider a weighted average of data – answered that all belligerents should be forgiven, even those who perpetrated crimes. Clearly people cannot stand it anymore.

 Libya and the Libyan people only want to live in peace, at last.

 50% of the Libyans interviewed by Western research centers think that the Libyan diaspora should play a role in the peace process, while 43% do not believe so.

 Said 43% do not want all those who made money in a “grey” way and ran away in time to still operate in Libya.

 Nevertheless, there is still a vast Libyan diaspora of intellectuals, technicians, professionals, entrepreneurs and  traders, who will inevitably be called back to their duties, when there is a credible peace project.

 The pacification process must be led by Libyans, in a new national government and with the planned support of the powers interested in the stabilization (and unification) of Libya.

 The splitting of Libya is just a silly memory of the peripheral vilayet(district) of the Ottoman Empire.

 Certainly, as some agencies supporting populations at war or in a period of serious political crisis suggest, it will also be necessary to create new nation-binding initiatives between the various Libyan groups – possibly non-artificial – so as to eliminate the animosity, tension and hatred, which have naturally spread.

 But “hate is a tiring exercise”, as Jean Rostand used to say.

 Moreover, there will be the need for a reparation mechanism, organized by a Trust including European and Middle East banks appointed by their governments among the warring factions.

 Paying means reigning, as Madame De Girardin maintained.

 Hence stopping immediately – or in a reasonably short lapse of time – the endless discussions on the damage caused to shops, or even on the children murdered, or possibly on the unlawful damages received by banks.

 Forgiving them their debts will be essential for genuine peace to materialize, without the anger and resentment of those who are or believe to have been damaged.

 This is the reason why a Trust would be needed, funded  with a share on the price of oil sold by Libya, plus a friendly, gracious and obviously anonymous contribution from the Libyan diaspora.

 Clearly, women and young people shall be involved in a process of national reconstruction very similar to Gaddafi’s old “committees”.

 The tradition of Gaddafism is still strong. Women are not excluded from social processes and civic participation, not even in areas with a very strong presence of radical Islamism.

 Furthermore, neither of the two governments is fully trusted by Libyans: 63% of them reject Tripoli’s GNA and 71% reject Tobruk’s government.

 The Libyans interviewed by the international organizations perceive the local units – that are parties to the conflict in all respects – as completely unreliable: only 28% of Libyans deem them effective.

 Therefore, it will obviously be necessary to re-establish the local units, in agreement (only) with the Libyan central government, but with a different territorial design, avoiding tribal or sectarian localization and allowing the administrations’ military and social control.

 Libya is large and the desire to still play the game of localist secession can be strong, especially in the presence of strong “natural” sources of income: oil, minerals, even water.

 Hence a Parliament shall be created – albeit not similar to European national Parliaments, but rather a large Assembly appointed by the tribes, in their own ways (obviously, it is useless to democratize Fezzan) -as well as a national government, answerable both to the Assembly of the tribes, that cannot be eliminated, and to an elective assembly according to the  traditional Western representation criteria.

 The government shall have the vote of both bodies.

 Rationally-designed areas of influence shall be created, with a view to resolving the OPEC Sunni countries’ struggle for Libyan oil, which emerged immediately after the silly war to bring “democracy” to Libya and to assassinate the “tyrant”, who was supported by all EU countries.

 Needless to send Turkey away from the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar from Al-Sarraj’s GNA region.

 We will never make it. The West is an old arthritic.

It will be a matter of regulating – by means of an international treaty – the relations of Turkey with Libya, as well as of Egypt, which has direct interests in Cyrenaica, or of Saudi Arabia or even France, which is now useless, considering the diplomatic relations broken off with Al-Sarraj and the friendly request to General Haftar to stop the Libyan National Army’s attack on Tripoli. The classic end of the too sly people or countries.

 It will also be necessary for the United States, the European States, namely all the EU Member States, Great Britain and even Israel, to participate in the Libyan reconstruction, which will certainly be a long process.

 Israel could guarantee remote security and the Libyan oil market’s future integration with the Lebanon-Cyprus-Turkey axis, which will be among the most important ones in the future.

 A bank trust, an ad hoc agency, will ensure the sale of unitary Libya’s debt securities – with the set limits and some guarantees – by absorbing part of those still in circulation and possibly creating an international sales desk.

 The Armed Forces will be rebuilt with the typical national criteria, but with a chain of command in which the Clausewitzian power of the political leader with respect to the military hierarchy will be very clear. There should also be a clear and innovative funding for the struggle against the illegal trafficking of migrants, starting from Fezzan and spreading to the other regions. All European countries will pay for it and will be very happy to do so.

 We still need a great guardian in North Africa, but we also need to show that the Western madness of the “Arab springs” has been put to an end, thus stabilizing the other governments and starting to invest throughout North Africa, with the guarantees of a stable local government.

 Otherwise, sooner or later, the sea of migration will engulf us, thus destabilizing the entire EU economy and our welfare State.

Advisory Board Co-chair Honoris Causa Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori is an eminent Italian economist and businessman. He holds prestigious academic distinctions and national orders. Mr. Valori has lectured on international affairs and economics at the world’s leading universities such as Peking University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Yeshiva University in New York. He currently chairs “International World Group”, he is also the honorary president of Huawei Italy, economic adviser to the Chinese giant HNA Group. In 1992 he was appointed Officier de la Légion d’Honneur de la République Francaise, with this motivation: “A man who can see across borders to understand the world” and in 2002 he received the title “Honorable” of the Académie des Sciences de l’Institut de France. “

Continue Reading

Middle East

Iranians move into front line of the Middle East’s quest for religious change



A recent online survey by scholars at two Dutch universities of Iranian attitudes towards religion has revealed a stunning rejection of state-imposed adherence to conservative religious mores as well as the role of religion in public life.

Although compatible with a trend across the Middle East, the survey’s results based on 50,000 respondents, who overwhelmingly said they resided in the Islamic republic, suggested that Iranians were in the frontlines of the region’s quest for religious change.

The trend puts a dent in the efforts of Iran as well as its rivals, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, that are competing for religious soft power and leadership of the Muslim world.

Among the rivals, the UAE, populated in majority by non-nationals, is the only one to start acknowledging changing attitudes and demographic realities. Authorities in November lifted the ban on consumption of alcohol and cohabitation among unmarried couples.

Nonetheless, the change in attitudes threatens to undercut the efforts of Iran as well as its Middle Eastern competitors to cement their individual interpretations of Islam as the Muslim world’s dominant narrative by rejecting religious dogma and formalistic and ritualistic religious practice propagated and/or imposed by governments and religious authorities.

“It becomes an existential question. The state wants you to be something that you don’t want to be,” said Pooyan Tamimi Arab, one of the organizers of the Iran survey, speaking in an interview. “Political disappointment steadily turned into religious disappointment… Iranians have turned away from institutional religion on an unprecedented scale.”

In a similar vein, Turkish art historian Nese Yildiran recently warned that a fatwa issued by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Directorate of Religious Affairs or Diyanet declaring popular talismans to ward off “the evil eye” as forbidden by Islam fueled criticism of one of the best-funded branches of government.

The fatwa followed the issuance of similar religious opinions banning the dying of men’s moustaches and beards, feeding dogs at home, tattoos, and playing the national lottery as well as statements that were perceived to condone or belittle child abuse and violence against women.

Funded by a Washington-based Iranian human rights groups, the Iranian survey, coupled with other research and opinion polls across the Middle East and North Africa, suggests that not only Muslim youth, but also other age groups, who are increasingly sceptical towards religious and worldly authority, aspire to more individual, more spiritual experiences of religion.

Their quest runs the gamut from changes in personal religious behaviour to conversions in secret to other religions because apostasy is banned and, in some cases, punishable by death to an abandonment of religion in favour of agnosticism or atheism.

Responding to the Iranian survey, 80 per cent of the participants said they believed in God but only 32.2 per cent identified themselves as Shiite Muslims, a far lower percentage than asserted in official figures of predominantly Shiite Iran.

More than a third of the respondents said that they either did not belong to a religion or were atheists or agnostics. Between 43 and 53 per cent, depending on age group, suggested that their religious views had changed over time with six per cent of those saying that they had converted to another religious orientation.

Sixty-eight per cent said they opposed the inclusion of religious precepts in national legislation. Seventy per cent rejected public funding of religious institutions while 56 per cent opposed mandatory religious education in schools. Almost 60 per cent admitted that they do not pray, and 72 per cent disagreed with women being obliged to wear a hijab in public.

An unpublished slide of the survey shows the change in religiosity reflected in the fact that an increasing number of Iranians no longer name their children after religious figures.

A five-minute YouTube clip allegedly related to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards attacked the survey despite having distributed the questionnaire once the pollsters disclosed in their report that the poll had been supported by an exile human rights group.

“Tehran may well be the least religious capital in the Middle East. Clerics dominate the news headlines and play the communal elders in soap operas, but I never saw them on the street, except on billboards. Unlike most Muslim countries, the call to prayer is almost inaudible… Alcohol is banned but home delivery is faster for wine than for pizza… Religion felt frustratingly hard to locate and the truly religious seemed sidelined, like a minority,” wrote journalist Nicholas Pelham based on a visit in 2019 during which he was detained for several weeks.

The survey’s results as well as observations by analysts and journalists like Mr. Pelham stroke with responses to various polls of Arab public opinion in recent years that showed that, despite 40 per cent of those polled defining religion as the most important constituent element of their identity, 66 per cent saw a need for religious institutions to be reformed.

The polls suggested further that public opinion would support the reconceptualization of Muslim jurisprudence to remove obsolete and discriminatory concepts like that of the kafir or infidel.

Responses by governments in Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East to changing attitudes towards religion and religiosity demonstrate the degree to which they perceive the change as a threat, often expressed in existential terms.

In one of the latest responses, Mohammad Mehdi Mirbaqeri, a prominent Shiite cleric and member of Iran’s powerful Assembly of Experts that appoints the country’s supreme leader, last month described Covid-19 as a “secular virus” and a declaration of war on “religious civilization” and “religious institutions.”

Saudi Arabia went further by defining the “calling for atheist thought in any form” with terrorism in its anti-terrorism law. Saudi dissident and activist Rafi Badawi was sentenced on charges of apostasy to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for questioning why Saudis should be obliged to adhere to Islam and asserting that the faith did not have answers to all questions.

Analysts, writers, journalists, and pollsters have traced changes in attitudes in the Middle East and North Africa for much of the past decade.

Kuwaiti writer Sajed al-Abdali noted in 2012 that “it is essential that we acknowledge today that atheism exists and is increasing in our society, especially among our youth, and evidence of this is in no short supply.”

Mr. Arab argues nine years later that his latest survey “shows that there is a social basis” for concern among authoritarian and autocratic governments that employ religion to further their geopolitical goals and seek to maintain their grip on potentially restive populations.

Continue Reading

Middle East

Sign of a Volcano Erupting in Iran



Since its inception in 1979, the Iranian regime has relied on two pillars to sustain its hold on power: relentless repression at home, and terrorism and warmongering abroad. Since the regime is out of step with the modernity of the 21st century, it needs to resort to belligerent policies in order to impose itself upon the existing international order.

Regime leaders know that it is exactly their foreign transgressions that have now become a source of serious alarm for European and American interlocutors. Even if a new round of negotiations were to take place, both the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and the President, Hassan Rouhani, understand that the nuclear issue will not be the only topic of conversation.

In a speech on January 8, Khamenei insisted on the regime’s regional adventurism and missiles program, saying that “the Islamic Republic has a duty to act in a way that strengthens its friends and supporters in the region.” Tehran has always made renouncing regional influence and its missiles program a red line. 

However, speaking on behalf of the European Union, German Foreign Minister Haiku Moss has said that a reinvigorated Iran deal must include new nuclear restrictions as well as an end to the testing of ballistic missiles. At the same time, he called for “limitation of Iran’s regional power” in the form of a “new agreement.”

Therefore, one of the pillars of the regime’s survival (foreign adventurism) has clearly been targeted by foreign powers. The other (domestic repression) is being challenged by the Iranian people.

A Social Volcano about to Erupt

In recent months, hundreds of centers controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the paramilitary Bassij, and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) have been targeted by young activists seeking to overthrow the regime. Simultaneously, posters and banners of regime leaders like Khamenei and eliminated Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani have been torched across the country.

The regime often blames these acts of dissent on “Resistance Units,” which are organized teams of young dissidents calling for the theocracy’s overthrowand reported to be affiliated with the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).A few short months before the massive November 2019 uprisings in Iran, the Minister of Intelligence Mahmoud Alavi claimed 116 of these “teams have been dealt with” in a matter of months. That is an indication that Tehran is witnessing a significant rise in such activities.

Time will tell if the trajectory of Iranian politics would experience a radical departure in the form of the regime’s ultimate collapse. All indicators are that the pace and depth of resistance appear to be increasing. Therefore, officials in Tehran may not be as optimistic as the rest of us about what lies ahead in 2021.

Warnings of Mass Uprisings

Practically every media outlet or official in Iran has been warning of a pending social explosion due to prevalent poverty and rampant unemployment. For example, one state-run daily refers to the worrying conditions and the lack of a “barrier against the volcano of the hungry” (Arman, December 26, 2020).

Another warns that “in an instant and with a simple spark of provocation, the Army of the Hungry may revolt.” (Hamdeli, December 20, 2020).The Iranian economy is collapsing andmore than 70% of society now lives below the poverty line.

Despite the supreme leader’s empty rhetoric and desperate show of power, he is well aware that he must negotiate and so that the sanctions on the sale of oil are eased, albeit in small quantities, in order to avoid more uprisings.

Khamenei is Weak and Vulnerable

Despite the danger of a social explosion, however, Khamenei and his regime are now at their weakest point since 1979. They cannot enter negotiations with US President Biden and Europe at this time. Khamenei can ill afford to look weak by backing down and engaging in such talks, especially prior to the presidential elections in June. So, he has decided to close ranks instead of opening up.

Khamenei is looking to limit rival factions’ power, including those supporting Rouhani. During the recent parliamentary elections, he pretty much purged so-called “reformist” candidates. Recent laws defining new conditions for presidential candidates have paved the way for Khamenei’s allies – like parliamentary speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf – to replace Rouhani. Khamenei calculates that once he has closed ranks and his faction controls all the levers of power, including the presidency, parliament, and judiciary, he would be able to entertain negotiations.

At the same time, he is trying to gain as much leverage in the nuclear arena in order to avoid giving concessions in other areas. Khamenei wants to boost the morale of his forces. Doling out regional or missile concessions would spell disaster for that strategy, leading to more defections in the ranks of the IRGC.Still, due to the sanctions, he is between a rock and a hard place. His regime is at its weakest point in history and extremely vulnerable.

One of the extremely unpopular moves he recently made was that he personally banned the import of coronavirus vaccines from France, Britain, and the US. Average Iranians, who have lost tens of thousands of loved ones to the virus and are reeling under the severe economic ramifications, are furious.

The Iranian society is growing more enraged at the regime by the day. Calls for overthrow, as indicated in the November 2019 uprising, are growing. Meanwhile, the regime has little leverage to demand the lifting of sanctions as both Europe and Washington target its regional interference and missiles program. With options severely narrowing, the regime may finally be at the end of its rope.

Continue Reading

Middle East

100th Anniversary of the Turkish Constitution



Teşkilatı-Esasiye Law, the law provides for the establishment of the State of Turkey on January 20, 1921. This law also carries its status as Turkey’s first constitution.

The Ottoman State displayed a submissive understanding in the face of the occupations experienced in its last period. The people displayed an important struggle for independence by showing the necessary reaction and effort during the 1st World War against these invasions. After the war, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, exhibited a legitimate ground to fit this into the struggle for independence and contemporary, landed in Samsun on May 19, 1919 to establish a modern Turkey. This date was also the first step in the War of Independence launched against the occupations across the country.

After Samsun, Mustafa Kemal, who held various meetings and congresses in Amasya and Erzurum, respectively, went to Sivas from here and held the Sivas Congress with the representatives determined by the people from every province. September 4, 1919 at the congress held in Sivas with the participation of delegates from all over Turkey, Istanbul until the establishment of the new Chamber of Deputies of the general elections made the government decide to cut all formal ties. A Council of Representatives was established in order to establish a new administrative and political organization throughout the country.

As a result of the election held in 1920, the last Parliamentary Assembly of the Ottoman Empire was established, but on March 16, 1920, Istanbul was occupied by the British and the pro-National Struggle MPs were arrested. The parliament that convened on March 18 announced that it dissolved itself. With the dissolution of the last Ottoman Parliament, Mustafa Kemal announced in the statement he published on behalf of the Representation Committee that he wanted the MPs who could escape the occupation in Istanbul to come to Ankara.

The Grand National Assembly was Established

MPs who managed to escape secretly from Istanbul deputies from all over Turkey, Mustafa Kemal’s leadership in Ankara on 23 April 1920, which was collected and laid the foundations of the Republic of Turkey Grand National Assembly was opened. The next day, on April 24, 1920, Mustafa Kemal Pasha was elected president of the Grand National Assembly. The Assembly, which adopted the principle of unity of forces, thus started its work to ensure the independence of the nation and the liberation of the state.

Mustafa Kemal Pasha, as the Speaker of the Assembly, presented a draft on September 13, 1920 with the title “Populism Program” consisting of 31 articles. For the draft, Mustafa Kemal said, “The nature of our existence, the essentiality of the nation, has proved the general trend of the nation, it is populism and the people’s government. It means that governments fall into the hands of the people ”and stated that this is an obligation. On September 18, 1920, the Populism Program prepared by the government was read in the Parliament. Malatya Deputy Lütfi Bey “This statement contains many principles”. First of all, I recommend him to go to the Principles of Law ”. Trabzon Deputy Ali Şükrü Bey stated that this draft was not a draft law and did not want it to be sent to the committee. In his speech, Minister of Finance Ferit Bey underlined that the draft law is a draft law and said, “This program is the political program of the government.”

At the end of the discussions, it was decided to send the program to a special committee consisting of three people from each branch. The members of the special commission named Encümen-i Mahsus were determined on September 25 and started their work. The Council completed its first work on October 21, 1920, and the program was put on the parliament’s agenda on October 27. The Council made some changes in the Fundamental and Administration sections of the Government Program and arranged this as a draft Law of Organization. He presented the justification of the arrangement he made to the Parliament. The draft law prepared by the Encümen-i Mahsus, which was submitted to the Parliament as the Fundamental Law of the Organization, consisted of 23 articles and two sections as Mevaddı Fundamental and Administrative. Some of the articles in the Populism Program were not included in the Draft Law on the Organization-ı Esasiye, which was arranged by the Encümen-i Mahsus and submitted to the Assembly. Article 5, which includes the subject of caliphate and sultanate, Article 10, which includes the number of people in the Grand National Assembly, and Article 16 regarding the army, were not included in the Draft Law on the Principles of Organization. While 11 items were accepted as they are, changes were made on 12 items. An Article-i Individual was added by the Encümen-i Mahsus. It was requested that the articles and provisions of the Basis of the Law, which were not contradicted to the law at the time the draft Law on the Principles of the Organization was discussed in the Assembly. However, as the Speaker of the Assembly Mustafa Kemal opposed this request, such a provision was not included in the Constitutional Law of the Organization. Therefore, with the Law of Fundamentals of the Organization, his relationship with the Ottoman Empire’s Basis of Law was officially terminated.

These discussions lasted about five months. The Fundamental Organization Law was accepted in the Parliament on January 20, 1921. A special method and quorum was not sought in the adoption of the law. Mustafa Kemal sent the Law of Constitution to the Grand Vizier Tevfik Pasha by telegram. No. 85 “Organization Fundamental Law” Article 23, and also carries the distinction of being Turkey’s first constitution, which consists of discrete items. One of the most important features of this Constitution is that even though the Ottoman Empire did not come to an end, it was declared that it would be administered by the Grand National Assembly and that sovereignty belonged to the nation, and the system, which was actually implemented with the principle of unity of powers, was placed on a constitutional basis.

Continue Reading



Intelligence34 mins ago

Victory in Strategic Studies: The Problematic Neglect of a Central Concept

Within the academic sphere of strategic studies there seems to be no doubt that the concept of victory remains to...

Finance55 mins ago

Top 7 Practices Every Small Business Must Follow

Your small business may have started out of passion, but it needs a lot of effort to grow and sustain...

Africa3 hours ago

GDP growth in Mozambique, other Portuguese-speaking African countries

The United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) has estimated that all the Portuguese-language countries in Africa will...

Southeast Asia5 hours ago

Why Indonesian Democracy Stays in Place due to Presidential Threshold Provision

Indonesia as one of the largest democracy states in the globe and considered quite successful in cohabitating democracy values and...

Environment6 hours ago

Lao PDR Signs Agreement to Protect Forests and Reduce Carbon Emissions

The Lao PDR and the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) have signed an agreement to provide up to...

Americas7 hours ago

China-Brazil relations, the win-win strategy, and third-parties’ bad faith

In a previous article we focused on Argentina, but it is worth continuing to analyse the situation in Latin America....

Human Rights8 hours ago

UN rights experts urge Israel to respect international obligations

UN independent rights experts on Tuesday, described Israel’s conviction of human rights defender Issa Amro earlier this month, as showing disdain for the country’s international obligations.   The comments came after the 6...