Democratization package to be announced by Turkish PM before month’s end

Democratization package to be announced by Turkish PM before month’s end

Democratization package to be announced by Turkish PM before month’s end

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has unveiled that the democratization package will be made public in a press conference this month. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Work on a much-anticipated democratization package is nearing completion, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today, adding that he would organize a press conference to publicize its contents before the end of September.

“We have completed the first stage of our work and are now redacting the due assignments. I will make a press conference solely on the democratization package by the end of month and make it public there,” Erdoğan told reporters during a joint press conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Ankara.   

Shortly earlier, the deputy leader and spokesman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Hüseyin Çelik, also confirmed via Twitter that the package was nearly finalized. 

“The package will be finalized later today, and our prime minister will hold a press conference in the coming days on the issue,” Çelik wrote.

The statement came during a meeting headed by Erdoğan and attended by ministers and senior officials on the content of the package.

The reform package is seen as crucial, particularly to regain lost momentum on the Kurdish peace process initiated nine months ago. 

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have listed their expectations from the government in return for a cease-fire and the withdrawal of PKK militants from Turkey, but the delay in the process has caused mistrust and tension between the two parties. The government accused the PKK of not completing the withdrawal within the given time, accusing the group of only pulling out 20 percent of its armed forces. 

The democracy package is expected to extend services in a citizens’ mother tongue in public offices such as municipalities and the tax office; lift the obligation to render settlement names in Turkish; restrict governors’ rights to delay meetings and gatherings and prevent the sentencing of those who have not been at the management level in terrorist organizations and those who have not committed crimes that violate codes on “being a member of a terrorist organization” via amendments to the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and the anti-terror law.