HDP rules out discussion with prime minister on new constitution amid ongoing conflict
Rifat Başaran - ANKARA
AA PhotoThe Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has ruled out discussions over the preparation for a new constitution with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu as long as clashes and curfews in southeastern Turkey continue.
“Let alone the fundamental right to life, if the prime minister visits us without recognizing the people’s right to breathe and their right to bury their loved ones, then he will only be offered to drink a cup of tea and then leave,” HDP Ankara deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder told reporters, referring to Davutoğlu’s meeting with the HDP’s co-leaders scheduled for Dec. 30.
The prime minister’s meeting could produce results only if the country is brought within constitutional bounds, Önder said.
“I hope the prime minister could turn this opportunity into a democratic opportunity,” he noted.
Önder ruled out that the state meets with the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, and said media reports suggesting a meeting between state officials and Öcalan were merely aiming to satisfy expectations from the international community.
Around two months after his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power with a sweeping victory in the Nov. 1 snap elections, Davutoğlu has called on leaders of opposition parties to get involved in dialogue over the preparation to forge a new constitution.
Davutoğlu is set to meet main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Dec. 30 at 1:00 p.m. and with HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ at 4:00 p.m. on the same day. Davutoğlu’s meeting with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli is, meanwhile, scheduled to take place at 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 4.
In addition to the constitution, the 2016 Central Governance Budget Bill, planned reforms and possible amendments to internal regulations of parliament will be on the agenda during these meetings.