BDP suggests reintroduction of Wise Persons Commission

BDP suggests reintroduction of Wise Persons Commission

BDP suggests reintroduction of Wise Persons Commission

A group from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), led by Adil Zozani (L), paid a visit to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), on the second day of the Eid al-Adha.

The Wise Persons Commission should be re-constituted with new qualifications and characteristics in order to monitor the stalled peace process, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has suggested.

“It’s vital that there be a Wise Person’s Commission that monitors the democratic resolution and peace process. They would hold talks with the parties and come up with inspiring ideas regarding the process. The peace process is a process Turkey conducts with its own dynamics, that’s why the continuation of the process is substantial,” BDP lawmaker Adil Zozani said on Oct. 16, during a visit to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

A BDP delegation led by Zozani was welcomed at the AKP headquarters by a delegation led by Deputy Chair Salih Kapusuz, as groups from the two parties exchanged greetings on the second day of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which is a tradition of Turkish politics.

The peace process was launched by the government earlier this year by holding talks with Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and Zozani said it was "crucial for Turkey’s democratization." He said the process, which has been stalled since the PKK halted the retreat of their militants from Turkey on the grounds that the government was not taking necessary steps, should be maintained as expectations are still high for a resolution.

The "Wise Persons" Commission was formed with 63 prominent opinion leaders, academics and NGO figures in April as part of the government’s peace efforts. After two and half months of meetings, conferences and public debates to receive the public opinion within all seven regions on the peace process, the Wise Persons submitted their final reports to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the beginning of July.

Stalled process 

The BDP had previously criticized the government for not taking the Wise Persons' reports into consideration.

Meanwhile, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli reiterated his criticism of the democratization package recently announced by the government; repeating the MHP's objection to allowing education in one’s mother tongue in private schools.

Speaking to reporters during a meeting with his party members for exchanging greetings for Eid al-Adha, Bahçeli said that they could not even describe the package as “democratic.”

“We don’t accept this package under any circumstances. The package is like a torpedo which aims to destroy Turkey’s existence. Unless the package is cleared of those threats, it’s not correct to name it democratic,” Bahçeli said.