‘Historic’ package not ordered by jailed PKK leader, genuine AKP project: Turkish PM
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during an event in the Central Anatolian province of Kırşehir, Sept. 28. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has brushed aside opposition criticism about a much-anticipated democratization package that will be made public Sept. 30, saying the reforms were not ordered by the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party’s (PKK) jailed leader as claimed, but were genuine government projects.
Erdoğan then returned the accusations, slamming the opposition parties for having “agitated against any reform” undertaken by the government since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came into power.
“In any reform we have undertaken over the past 11 years, there have been people who went against it. They will oppose it as well on Monday [Sept. 30]… During the 11 years, whenever we made a step forward, there have been people who have wanted to trip us up,” Erdoğan said during a speech in the Central Anatolian province of Kırşehir today.
“Our opposition is not in the West where they support the government when it is appropriate to support it, and slam it when it is appropriate to do so,” Erdoğan said, describing the package's announcement as "historic." He added that the reforms would open the way to democracy in Turkey.
“We will announce a package that widens the scope of freedoms even more, clears the way for the economy, democracy, and most importantly of all, our brotherhood,” Erdoğan said.
“So, will you consider the reforms as impositions of belief groups or ethnic structures? We are undertaking [the reforms] because they are right,” he said.
The prime minister also warned against any sabotage of the ongoing Kurdish resolution process.
Erdoğan also pleaded for the adoption of a constitutional definition of citizenship, signaling a possible removal of the notion of Turkishness and the abandon of the wording “Turk.”
“The concept of nation does not express an ethnic structure, it incorporates several ethnic components. That way, we say keep [the concept of nation] large; let’s unite under the citizenship of the Turkish Republic,” Erdoğan said.
Emphasizing that terror attacks had stopped since the beginning of the process, Erdoğan said they were enacting the reforms since the conditions now seemed appropriate.
The democratization package will be announced on Sept. 30 by Erdoğan himself with the attendance of ministers. A simultaneous translation into English and Arabic will also be provided.