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ANKARA WHISPERS > Are super governors coming?

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This file photo shows Parliament’s General Aseembly during a session. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is aiming to approve around 15 new regulations, first and foremost the 3rd judicial package, in Parliament until mid-July. AA photo

This file photo shows Parliament’s General Aseembly during a session. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is aiming to approve around 15 new regulations, first and foremost the 3rd judicial package, in Parliament until mid-July. AA photo

Göksel Bozkurt Göksel Bozkurt goksel.bozkurt@hurriyet.com.tr

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is planning to make the Parliament work until mid-July and take a break before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins (in the second half of July). Among the AKP’s summer plans, there is the wish to enact some important laws. Members of the Constitution Conciliation Commission, though, will go back to work after a short break, because they will work overtime – unless any one of the parties leaves the table – to draft the new constitution before the end of 2012.

The AKP is aiming to approve around 15 new regulations, first and foremost the 3rd judicial package, in Parliament until mid-July. The AKP can assemble the Code of Criminal Procedure (CMK) Article 250 amendment inside the 3rd judicial package. It does not seem very probable the 4th judicial package will be ready by mid-July. For that reason, the AKP has an inclination to leave it until October.

According to what I have heard, the AKP is preparing for an authorization law as it did last year. An “authorization” will be taken from the Parliament for the break, but it will be used for several major regulations. The AKP, which had enacted organizational laws for ministries with this method last year, may put its signature on surprise amendments likely to cause public debates through the same method.

Another important regulation the AKP staff has been working on is being whispered about in the corridors of Parliament. The talk is that some figures in the AKP are mulling over the “super governor” system. Mouths of officials are silent regarding the work that is being molded behind closed doors. Even though the details are not quite known, the widespread rumor is that the system will mostly be based on strengthening local governance and especially be used actively in the fight against terror. By increasing the powers of governors, management problems of problematic cities like Istanbul will also be solved. It is said that the governors equipped with super powers will be provided with all kinds of resources, their staff will be increased and thus the powers of the central authority will be shifted to local ones.

The “super governor” idea is not a new one. It goes back many years. In the past, some prime ministers and leaders of political parties had brought up similar proposals but were not able to put them in practice. At the time, this method was considered for solving problems of mega-metropolises like Istanbul and the “terror” issues of those provinces, primarily Diyarbakır and Hakkari.

When the AKP took power in 2002, it started a debate on a governor model that would take office after being elected in a way similar to the American system but was not able to put it into practice. It is being whispered that the cadre of the AKP is focusing on two models. The first is equipping governors with more powers by legal arrangements. The second is making a constitutional change and providing the legal basis for governors to be elected, together with the semi-presidential system.

There are certain objections regarding the model that the AKP has not brought to maturity yet. For example, there is a concern that it would be associated with the “emergency rule governor” that was practiced in the southeast in the past. Especially deputies of Kurdish origin are preparing to be outspoken about their disturbance in the case of a probable change.

Let’s see if the super governor model will be approved by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and be put in practice?

Kurdish congress delayed again


Kurds living in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran have been planning a “Kurdish Conference” for a long time. They have not been able to do so yet, due in part to the engagement of national-international equilibriums. The latest word had been that it was hoped the congress, which the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have consistently supported, would take place in summer. It is said that Kurdistan Regional Goverment (KRG) leader Massoud Barzani postponed the congress regarding regional equilibriums and especially taking into consideration the conflicts among the Kurdish groups in the four countries. It is also said that together with Turkey, pressures from the Iraqi and Iranian governments also had serious effects on the congress not being held. Fall is targeted for the new date.

Atilla Kart’s concern of bugs


Atilla Kart, a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) working in the Constitution Conciliation Commission, suspects that his office in the Parliament has been bugged.

Several letters of warning have been sent to Kart, prompting his suspicion. “In these letters, people with good intentions are warning me. They are telling me that the Office of the Speaker of Parliament should take measures,” Kart said.

Kart has applied in written form to Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek. If the Office of the Speaker of Parliament fails to eliminate this suspicion, Kart said he planned to solve the issue through his own methods.

June/11/2012

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