POLITICS > Ruling AKP moves to expel dissenting deputy


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'I believe that the closure of prep schools will be politically harmful,' Deputy İdris Bal had said. AA photo

'I believe that the closure of prep schools will be politically harmful,' Deputy İdris Bal had said. AA photo

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has launched the required procedural process for expelling a deputy who openly expressed views contrary to those of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about plans for closing down test prep schools.

AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Ahmet Aydın, speaking to Anadolu Agency on Nov. 21, said deputy İdris Bal had been sent to the Joint Disciplinary Board of the party, with request of definite expulsion from both the party and the parliamentary group. The request came as a result of Bal's "remarks that have been published in the press and which have been against party policies.”

According to the regulations, Bal will not be able to participate in any party activities, including weekly parliamentary group meetings, until a final decision by the Board is announced. The decision will be made after Bal presents his defense.

Bal's attitude 'unacceptable,' PM says

Erdoğan, meanwhile, accused Bal of breaching the party’s internal discipline more than once, despite having been warned on the matter previously. “If someone wants to be involved in politics as a member of particular political party, they are obliged to comply with the policies of that party. If he then becomes a candidate, he must observe internal party rules and regulations,” Erdoğan said Nov. 21 before his departure to Russia, adding that he had received a report about Bal.
“If you have confidence in yourself, you can run as an independent candidate. But you can't have confidence in yourself, run for a party, and then not comply with internal party rules, this is unacceptable,” Erdoğan added.

Bal, approached by Anadolu Agency after Aydın’s announcement, said he had yet to be personally notified of the expulsion order.

“I had serious concerns over the policy regarding prep schools. That must have triggered it,” he said, reiterating his objection.

“I believe that closure of prep schools will be politically harmful. It may lead to problems with regards to equality of opportunity as well. I also had concerns regarding the resolution process,” Bal added, referring to the government-led process aimed at ending the three-decade old conflict between the security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “These may be the reason for my being sent to the discipline board,” he said.

Bal said he did not plan to resign for the moment and would make his mind up after he received the written notification about the party’s move.

The prep schools controversy is not the only issue on which Bal’s view has diverged from the party and Prime Minister Erdoğan.

Most recently, in early November, Bal questioned Erdoğan’s suggestion that new regulations could be drawn up to stop male and female students from living together, raising question marks over steps that might violate people’s private lives.

“Is the next step intervening in the lives of couples who live together without getting married?” Bal asked, speaking to a group of reporters in Parliament. “Will we also intervene if a university student couple continues living together after they graduate?”

Earlier, in late summer, Bal sparked reactions from several corners when a report by the Eurasia Global Research Center (AGAM) argued that Erdoğan had been "misinformed" during the Gezi Park protests and the redevelopment project was not handled in a democratic way.

Bal is the chair of the AGAM.


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Notice on comments

Brit in Turkey

11/23/2013 1:26:43 PM

sam afg alokozai: They are not my words you are quoting. They came originally from Landos Landos.

Çılgın Kanarya

11/22/2013 8:55:56 PM

DOǦAN KEMAL İLERİ, would an AKP deputy "seeking publicity through the press" in order to spout pro-government lies, as they often do, be a problem for Tayyip also? Don't try to dress this up as something more than it is. The bottom line is that you can make as much noise as you like when Tayyip approves of what you're ranting about, but when he doesn't, it's time to pack your bags & find a new job! We see the same pattern repeated in the yandaş media with dissenting journalists. Not complicated.

sam afg alokozai

11/22/2013 8:28:09 PM

@Brit in Turkey "It is up to each political party to expel members who dissent on policy issues" No, only if they take part in misconduct or break the law ... if you are right then why RTE can not be elected again as prime minister? as it is not against the law to be elected again as PM, but its against AKP internal rules and regulations. Anyways he should better join CHP if his thoughts are against AK party's policies ... is it possible for a nationalist kurd to stay long as MHP member?

Brit in Turkey

11/22/2013 7:40:54 PM

Çılgın and dogan kemal ileri: A recent example in the UK was the rebellion by Tory backbenchers against the "gay" marriage bill. A current example is the attempt to force a vote requesting a referendum on the EU before the next general election in 2015 and not in 2017 when Cameron wants it. These MPs express their views openly in the media as well as in parliament.

mara mcglothin

11/22/2013 6:42:42 PM

And everybody knows that you attract more bees with honey(Bal) than you do with vinegar(...) It is never logical if everyone agrees with everybody else all of the time. In fact in the USA I am always suspect of any politician that holds the party line completely. Very sad that there can't be a constructive conversation in Turkey.

dogan kemal ileri

11/22/2013 12:15:48 PM

Any dissenting MP in the UK are disciplined through the whips office but never excommunicated unless the dissenter has broken the laws of the land and even then they are encouraged to resign rather than face the ignominy of the sack and disgrace from the party. However Idris Bal has sought publicity through the press so his history does indicate a hidden agenda and the AKP may have adequate grounds to dismiss him. Nice to see all you RTE deserving misinformation freaks out in force again.

Red Tail

11/22/2013 11:28:52 AM

The AKP Deputy who earlier this week said that it was a mistake to have teaching for boys and girls together has not been expelled.

Çılgın Kanarya

11/22/2013 11:11:04 AM

What I have failed to make clear in my previous post, and which is crucial, is that I was referring to disagreements with Blair from MP's within his own Labour Party. I think you probably understood what I meant anyway, given the context of the article we're commenting on here.

Rimon Tree

11/22/2013 9:39:23 AM

@ R A Don't you think that Angry Birds would be more suiting? :-))

Brian Irlanda

11/22/2013 9:05:06 AM

@Scandi Navian. He is lucky to be only expelled. A couple of hundred years ago and Sultan Erdogan would have him taken out to the Topkapi gardens and decapitated! :-). Erdogan has become such a joke and parody there will be funny movies ridiculing him and Turks will laugh and ask..how were our parents so fooled to give him the PM job!
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