Main opposition pushes for ‘democracy package’

Main opposition pushes for ‘democracy package’

Main opposition pushes for ‘democracy package’

Emine Ülker Tarhan, deputy group chair of the CHP, says Turkey needs reforms urgently to secure fair representation. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Turkey’s main opposition party has announced it will submit a series of reform proposals to Parliament as part of an “urgent democracy package,” starting with a proposal to lower the election threshold.

The first draft, submitted yesterday, proposed the reduction of the share of the national vote parties were required to win to enter Parliament from the much-criticized 10 percent to 5 percent.

Turkey needs reforms urgently to secure fair representation, Emine Ülker Tarhan, deputy group chair of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said at a press conference as she announced the move.

In the coming days, the CHP will also submit a draft bill to address the problem of lengthy detention periods as well as amendments to the anti-terror law and the law on meetings and demonstrations, she said.

Complaint against PM

In a separate move, CHP Deputy Süheyl Batum announced they will lodge a criminal complaint against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, National Intelligence Service (MiT) Head Hakan Fidan and his former Deputy Afet Güneş over secret talks with senior militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Batum said one round of the talks, held in Oslo and recently leaked to the media, took place shortly after the killing of seven soldiers at Reşadiye in December 2009. Güneş had made light-hearted comments on the attack in the leaked audio, Batum said.

“Such a meeting could not have taken place in any other country. It is treason,” he said.

Meanwhile, CHP Deputy Hüseyin Aygün held a separate press conference to denounce the fact that prosecutors had failed to open a single case against those responsible for the 1980 coup and
its torture chambers, in the wake of last year’s constitutional amendments that paved the way for

Aygün was flanked by folk poet Şah Turna, who was stripped of her Turkish citizenship after the 1980 coup. Recounting torture and oppression during the military rule, she called on the state to apologize to all who suffered at the time.

Aygün refused to answer questions on a lingering debate over the 1938 Dersim killings, which he had re-ignited last month.