MHP leader Bahçeli criticizes the rapprochement between the AKP and the BDP for a new Constitution. DAILY NEWS photo
A governmental plan to write the country’s new Constitution with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has drawn fierce reactions from other opposition parties, which called the move “blackmailing the opposition parties.”
“They say ‘either finish the writing process by the end of March or we’ll submit own draft.’ No country’s charter can be mended through blackmail. This blackmail is not valid for the Republican People’s Party [CHP],” CHP
leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
told his parliamentary group Feb. 12.
Kılıçdaroğlu said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was trying to change the regime of Turkey by proposing a presidential system. “Constitutions are founding norms of a country. You cannot change it by introducing one or two proposals.”
The prime minister’s goal is to give himself extraordinary powers in the presidential system as he has confessed that he does not believe in the principle of separation of powers, according to Kılıçdaroğlu, who vowed to struggle in Parliament to thwart Erdoğan’s plans. “Democracy is not the 51 percent [majority],” he said, and suggested establishing a trio with Qatar and Saudi Arabia as even the Shanghai Cooperation Council will not accept Turkey as member.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was also very critical of the AKP’s plans to walk alone on its path to change the Constitution with the support of the BDP. Reiterating his accusations against both the AKP and BDP for following separatist policies, MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli harshly criticized the recent rapprochement between the two parties aimed at building a new Constitution together in case of disagreement within the joint charter panel.
“This is a declaration of war against Turkishness,” he said, suggesting that Turkey’s future is now tied to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK). In case of a referendum for the new charter, the Turkish nation will have to vote on its “existence, unity and fundamental rights,” he said.
BDP co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş, however, denied reports that they were in secret talks with the AKP for the new Constitution.
“We have not been in talks with any party outside the constitutional commission. And we will not talk as long as the commission exists,” he said. PM’s visit to Saygun
Erdoğan’s visit to retired Gen. Ergin Saygun, a former senior military officer who was released from prison after he underwent a serious heart operation, was also on the agenda of the opposition leaders.
Kılıçdaroğlu argued that the visit indicated that the prime minister’s conscience was suffering from the injustice committed against hundreds of people who were behind bars on unclear charges as part of the ongoing Ergenekon and Balyoz cases. “Wherever he goes in the world, he faces criticisms about this justice absurdity. He was late in seeing but better late than never. This visit also means an apology,” he said.
Recalling that Erdoğan had recently paid a visit to Saygun, whose 18-year prison sentence in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plot trial was postponed, Bahçeli suggested that nobody should be surprised if Erdoğan also visits the Silivri Prison campus where defendants in the Ergenekon coup case have been jailed.