All will be surprised by democracy package: Turkish PM Erdoğan
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Prime Minister Erdoğan spoke in a meeting of the Labor Ministry yesterday on the democracy package. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe democratization package to be announced on Sept. 30 will be a surprise for many different segments of society, Turkey’s premier has said, reiterating that the government was not taking this
step because it was under pressure from Kurdish political groups.
“The contents may come as a surprise to many different segments of society. This package is the result of an 11-year process. But there will never be an end. Because this isn’t simple mathematics or geometrics. This is an ongoing social and political process,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at a meeting of the Labor Ministry yesterday.
Erdoğan is set to unveil a comprehensive democratization package on Monday Sept. 30, at a press conference in Ankara. Although the government dismisses the connection between the package and the ongoing resolution process aiming to end the decades-old Kurdish question and connected terrorism, the government’s move will have an important effect on the talks with the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
‘Result of the promises AKP made’
“The reform package is a result of promises made during the formation of the party and during party congresses” he underlined, adding, “Without any pressure from anyone, not being forced by anyone, not being leaned on by anyone, but created by conditions arising from promises we have given. This was a road map and now that the obstacles have been cleared we can enact this reform; opening up new horizons for our people, our country.”
The package is believed to be an important democratization step from the government not only with regard to the Kurdish question but also to the government’s deteriorated image in Europe especially after the Gezi Park demonstrations. It’s not yet sure how this package will influence the European Union’s upcoming annual Progress Report which is believed to harshly criticize the government over the use of disproportionate force against activists.
Without directly referring to the Gezi Park incidents, Erdoğan said “there would be no dialogue with those wielding stones, sticks and Molotov cocktails.” Hearing, listening, and a tolerant, positive approach were what was needed, said Erdoğan.
“When one takes a break from chanting slogans at every opportunity and unclenches their fists, open their ears and minds there is no matter one cannot solve. This is how we will solve and are solving the issues of both my Sunni and Alevi citizens. This is how we will solve and are solving the issues of my Turkish brothers, my Kurdish brothers, Arabs, Lazs, Circassians, Bosniaks, Romas, and any other ethnicity,” he said.