Coup reform is a concession for the PKK: Nationalist leader

Coup reform is a concession for the PKK: Nationalist leader

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Coup reform is a concession for the PKK: Nationalist leader

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli. Daily News photo

The amendments recently proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to the Internal Service Code of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) are only a façade to give the impression that the legality of coups is being removed, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader has said. In reality, the changes are simply pretexts for concessions made to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to Devlet Bahçeli.

“This new version of Article 35 is clearly a concession to the PKK and separatist circles. This is an advanced step of concessions made to terror from Oslo to İmralı. How and upon which date can the AKP government decide that 'internal threats' are over?” Bahçeli said at a press conference on July 1, referring to the fact that with the new draft a greater emphasis is given to the army’s responsibility to protect against threats from abroad.

He said the proposed regulation limiting the liabilities of the military eliminated the difference between mercenaries and soldiers. “That is to say, the meaning and the importance of the military profession has been limited in an objectionable way,” he said.

Elsewhere in Ankara, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair Faruk Loğoğlu indicated that the planned version of the article was just an attempt to show off and did not bring any substantial changes regarding the “democratic administration of the TSK.”

Parliament’s National Defense Commission approved the bill that includes the amendment to Article 35.

The bill is expected to be debated in Parliament’s General Assembly later in the week.

Bahçeli also commented on the UEFA decision barring Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş from European leagues on match-fixing accusations. The decision was “prejudiced and open to discussion in terms of its persuasiveness,” he said, adding that “of course, the UEFA decision has many sides that can be debated and questioned.” He also said the decision "meddled with Turkey’s prestige."