Aegean MPs urge PM Erdoğan over process

Aegean MPs urge PM Erdoğan over process

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Aegean MPs urge PM Erdoğan over process

‘We can no longer lose time. The mandate of the commission [on new Constitutİon] should not be extended,’ Erdoğan says. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Ruling party lawmakers from the Aegean have urged sensitivity in the course of the resolution process, recalling that critical remarks toward the highly secular and nationalist region could help boost opposition parties during a meeting with the prime minister yesterday.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a five-hour long meeting with lawmakers from the Aegean province, whose support for the ongoing peace process is the lowest at 44 percent.

“We are neither negotiating nor giving concessions. We are writing history here. I want you all to knock all the doors in the Aegean and explain it to our people,” Erdoğan told his lawmakers, according to information gathered by the Hürriyet Daily News.

Lawmakers, on the other hand, summarized how recent political developments had been reflected in the region, informing the prime minister that recent public opinion polls show that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is six points behind the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in İzmir. Polls show the CHP has 43 percent of votes while its İzmir mayor, Aziz Kocaoğlu, has 41 percent of votes. The Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) votes has risen three points from 17 to 20. The MHP’s votes in whole the Aegean region has increase 2 to 3 percent.

Some lawmakers recalled remarks voiced by the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs that “İzmir had a different sort of religiousness” and urged officials not to issue such statements concerning the people and the way of life in İzmir. “These statements are not right. Residents of Izmir are very sensitive. State officials and government members should pay attention to their sensitivities,” one lawmaker said.

Erdoğan also informed lawmakers on the ongoing efforts to rewrite the new Constitution. Asking the deputy leader of the AKP, Mehmet Ali Şahin, to read the first article of the drafted charter which says “The state of Turkey is a republic,” Erdoğan said that was the only article the four parties have agreed upon so far.

“We can no longer lose time. The mandate of the commission should not be extended. If the four-party panel fails, then we’ll implement our Plan B or Plan C. If other parties do not accept, we’ll draft the Constitution in line with the sensitivities of the people. We may take it to referendum with the Peace and Democracy Party,” he said.