AKP to found Kurdish commission with BDP

AKP to found Kurdish commission with BDP

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
AKP to found Kurdish commission with BDP

Women revisit their former houses at a Hakkari village after being forced to leave their homes two decades ago. AA photo

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has decided that it will still work at a planned-parliamentary investigation commission aimed at monitoring the peace process, even if this means having to work solely with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

The AKP’s decision was made at a meeting of the Central Executive Board (MYK) chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan late on Monday. The AKP’s executive body said “the domination of a minority over the majority will not be allowed,” adding that according to Parliament’s internal regulations, the commission would work with 10 AKP members and one BDP member. 

As the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have declared that they will not assign members, an 11-seat commission will be composed of deputies from the ruling AKP and the BDP. If the CHP and the MHP decide to assign deputies, the panel would have 17 members.

The commission is expected to be formed in the coming days, with four spaces allocated for the CHP and two allocated for the MHP being vacant. 

AKP executives said the two opposition parties could assign members to the commission at any moment, if they so wished. 

Removal of initials 

The executive body of the AKP also discussed the Constitution writing process, and the subject of the removal of the phrase “T.C.,” an acronym for the Republic of Turkey, from certain units of the Health Ministry was also raised.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said such rumors were being maliciously spread to damage the process, also criticizing “untrue speculation” that the AKP had not included the concept of the “Turkish nation” in the new Constitution. “The Turkish nation cannot be removed from the Constitution. The Turkish nation concept does not define a race. In our constitutional draft, we do protect the concept of Turkish nation. It is defined not as a race, but as citizenship,” he said. 

In its draft charter proposal, the AKP used the notion of the “Turkish nation” twice. The phrase “Turkish nation” is used once in the preamble section and once in the definition of “sovereignty” section.
However, during a meeting of Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission late on April 15, the AKP suggested that the preamble should not be considered part of the Constitution text. The AKP draft for the preamble stated that, “The text and clauses of the preamble are not considered part of the Constitution.” Thus, the phrase “Turkish nation” will be included in the preamble of the AKP draft, but this will not be considered as “text of the Constitution.” 

AKP deputy Mustafa Şentop said they did not consider the preamble to be part of the Constitution because they did not want an “ideological Constitution.”

Extension of wise people

Meanwhile, the AKP executive board meeting also found work of the wise people commission to be positive so far. 

A report prepared by AKP Ankara deputy Yalçın Akdoğan regarding the work of the wise people commission was submitted to the board meeting. Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay also gave a briefing.

Within this framework, the executive board discussed whether or not to extend the two-month mission of the wise people commission. The performance after two months will also be evaluated and an extension will be granted if considered necessary.

Survey results conducted during the month of March were also re-evaluated. Because support for the process was only around 40 percent in the Aegean and Black Sea regions, it was decided to organize visits to these regions. The board adopted a decision that in parallel with the wise people, ministers and deputies should schedule more visits, especially to these two geographic regions, in order to explain the peace process to the people more clearly.

45 percent backs presidency

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Almost half of Turkey’s population is against a presidential system, which has been fiercely promoted by both ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) executives and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to a survey conducted by the AKP.

The results of the survey conducted by the Genar Survey Company were discussed late April 15 at a meeting of the AKP’s Central Executive Board (MYK) that was chaired by Erdoğan. 

While 45 percent objected to the presidential system, 55 percent supported the idea. When asked whether “they support the resolution of the terror problem through current means,” 67 percent responded affirmatively. The poll displayed that support for the prospects of a resolution of the three-decade conflict between security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) via the involvement of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan had decreased. It was conducted after Öcalan’s cease-fire message was declared on March 21.