End to Anti-Terror Law the ultimate aim of peace process: Justice minister
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
A Turkish soldier stands guard while Syrian residents cheer to a Peace and Democracy Party's(BDP) members forming a human chain during a demonstration of support to Syrian Kurds on Aug. 3 in Mardin, southeastern Turkey. AFP photo
Asked if the new reform package prepared by the government to give more momentum to the process foresaw changes with respect the Anti-Terror Law, Ergin said that their ultimate aim was to eliminate the need for such legislation.
“In each package there are some articles regarding the Anti-Terror Law. However, it’s not very adequate to modify it all the time. Our main wish is to remove the climate of terror in our country so that we do not need the Anti-Terror Law,” Ergin said during the interview aired by private broadcaster Kanal 7, adding that the TMK could eventually be lifted at the end of the process launched eight months ago.
“When the impact and pressure of terror in our country is removed the Turkish Penal law will be enough for the needs. It provides an infrastructure that can respond to our needs in terms of terror activities. By ending terror with the resolution process, hopefully there will be no need in this country for an Anti-Terror Law,” Ergin said.
Package to be announced in 10 days
Dismissing concerns due to criticisms regarding the slowness of the process, and in particular the withdrawal of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants from Turkish soil, Ergin stressed the risk of sabotages by “internal and external dynamics.”
“Perhaps what was needed to be done in terms of the governance of the process’ psychology and social psychology has not been fully carried through. This diagnosis can be partly accepted,” he said.
Ergin also said that the package will be announced in “one week or ten days.” “I don’t think that there will be delays,” he said.
He nevertheless did not give any clue as to whether the package will contain arrangements that would allow landmark reforms such as the reopening of the Halki Orthodox Seminary or with respect to the rights or Alevis.
“What will be in the package and the dosage of those will be determined after an evaluation of Turkey’s political realities, the developments, the possibilities at hand and capabilities,” Ergin said.
The package is expected to bring improvements helping to move forward the Kurdish issue, although it is not known if the expectations of the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) will be met.
Kurdish politicians had urged the government to speed up on reforms to help to bring the process to the next phase, which is the discussion on the legal reforms.