CHP: Experts deserted party in fear of government
Göksel Bozkurt ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s main opposition has failed to convince legal specialists from Parliament’s staff to help it in preparing the country’s new constitution because they are scared of government pressure, according to the party.
“We chose 10 legal specialists from Parliament’s staff but none of them accepted the job. They do not want to work with us because they are scared of government pressure. It is a grave situation that shows the scale that the atmosphere of fear has reached in Turkey,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Atilla Kart told the Hürriyet Daily News on Nov. 18. The CHP will now be looking for specialists from Ankara University, he added.
With the acceleration of the Constitution Conciliation Commission’s work to draft the country’s new charter, the social democratic party contacted some of Parliament’s nearly 300 experts but it received negative answers, even from those who are known to be ideologically close to the CHP. The four parties who are part of the commission have the right to appoint four experts to help them during the commission works. In addition, parties have the right to nominate two advisors to work on one of the commission’s sub-committees.
“Their refusal to work with the CHP is a very important indication of the empire of fear that has been established in this country,” Kart said, adding that the experts who turned down their offer did not want to become a target of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The CHP deputy blamed the AKP for imposing pressure on civil servants and on different segments of society.
Although such specialists could be obliged to provide assistance to any party that issues a formal request to the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office, the CHP has decided not to apply for the help on the grounds that it is important that the scholars voluntarily agree to offer their services instead of doing so obligatorily, Kart said.
Officials at the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office were not immediately available for comment on the issue when contacted by the Daily News.
Kart said the party was now looking for constitutional specialists from the country’s prominent law schools, such as the Ankara University Law School, as well as advisers on political science and history.
“We will communicate with other universities, like Istanbul University or Bilkent. There is no doubt that we will find the best experts and advisers to provide assistance,” Kart said.