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POLITICS > Turkish ruling party ‘to leave liberals out’

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

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Aziz Babuşçu. AA photo

Aziz Babuşçu. AA photo

Some groups like “liberals” that were the government’s partners over the last 10 years of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rule will no longer side with the administration amid the creation of a new Turkey, the party’s Istanbul branch head has said.

“Those who were somehow [partners] of ours in the 10 years of our rule will not be partners for us in the next 10 years,” Aziz Babuşçu was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency in Istanbul yesterday during a meeting of the Suriçi Group. “[This is] because in the last 10 years, there were partners of ours who were standing by what we did in a liquidation process and in defining freedom, the rule of law and justice. Although they cannot tolerate us, let’s say liberal circles, they have been partners of ours for some reason, but the future period of constructing [Turkey] will not be like that.”

The coming term will not be liberals’ “desire,” he said. “Hence, those partners will not be with us. Those [liberals] who somehow walked with us will be the partners of those who are against us because the Turkey that is to be built will not feature a future that they accept or desire. That’s why our task is even harder.”

Cem Toker, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said the AKP had never stood by liberal values and that the Babuşçu’s comments were a harbinger of worse days ahead.

Toker said the AKP had failed to protect fundamental rights and produce a justice system that could protect such rights.

“In Turkey, none of press freedom, freedom of expression or the right to share information have improved, according to most prestigious international institutions’ reports. When I look at the European Court of Human Rights, I see the same conclusion,” he said in a phone interview with the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

Toker said when someone refers to liberals in Turkey, “ex-Marxist journalists and academics” come to mind.

“This fraction attempted to convince the conservative AKP that it was a liberal party,” Toker said.

Mehmet Altan, who was recently fired from daily Star and was known for his criticism, said he was sticking to principles, not to AKP policies.

“Is the AKP the same party that it was in its first three years in power, or is it a party encompassing Uludere [an incident in which 34 Kurdish civilians were killed in December 2011] and keeping the lid on Deniz Feneri [a corruption case]?” he told the Daily News yesterday.

Altan said the AKP had metamorphosed and turned into a party that had replaced the Turkish army as the power in the country.

April/02/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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mara mcglothin

4/2/2013 6:40:16 PM

HAKAN I do believe that you are correct. When the "tram" finally gets to its stop, who will protect the country?

ismail demir

4/2/2013 6:15:03 PM

People critisize AKP for dismissing liberals, same time against AKP collaboration with PKK are more hypocrite than AKP.Cem Toker made good analysis about so called liberals.They are ex-marxisist hate Turkey,Media shows hatred of Turkey as a liberalism.If AKP leave these ex-marxists, they made good thing.But on the contrary AKP still looks their mouths rather than society.

Köksüz Kosmopolit

4/2/2013 6:13:10 PM

The train is slowing down for its final approach to the station, it seems. But, OH NO!! Whatever will Liberal Islamist Mustafa Akyol do, now that his exciting friends are announcing they have no further use for that "liberal" part?

Hakan Salci

4/2/2013 4:41:41 PM

Serves them right; soon they will be deeply regretting the support they gave in dismantling the power of the Army. I wonder what pathetic argument Mustafa Akyol will come up with for the 'reasons' behind this expected move, he used to go on about how the AKP was not just a bunch of conservative islamists and that so-called 'liberals' were on their side too. Well the liberals have been left out in the cold; what comes around goes around, that is a supreme rule that never changes, AKP beware.

David Cuthell

4/2/2013 3:04:10 PM

It would be useful to attach a link to the original Turkish. This has to be "somehow" one of the creepiest proclamations in recent memory. As the water dries from the pond, all manners of ugly creatures seem to have been living there. This should make for an interesting Akyol/Bekdil round of sparring!

Richard Wyatt

4/2/2013 12:51:40 PM

So academics are considered liberal. That makes sense. Those who are non-liberal are thus unacademic. That also makes sense.

american american

4/2/2013 12:44:07 PM

the bus was too crowded, but unlike us commoners who have to put up with being groped on the metro-buses daily, the ruling party decided to make some more room for themselves.

Vargen Vargen

4/2/2013 12:16:13 PM

He is right. After the first election AKP contained liberal elements and liberals also voted for them since they promoted Democracy and want to push back the Army. The problem is how they have changed after the second election. Erdogan has certainly developed more totalitarian sides and the liberal ones are no longer involved. And politics (both domestic and foreign) has become far more based on Islam and teaming up with Muslim countries rather than Europe. We are on the wrong way for sure.

Faruk Beisser

4/2/2013 9:06:47 AM

If these so-called Liberals would have ''progressed'' toeards becoming islamists, they would have np problem with Gülen/Erbakan AKP.
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