Marking 90th year, main opposition CHP renews democracy vision
DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZEstablishing a democratic society where tolerance, respect, equality and other contemporary norms prevail, leading to a social and rule of law-based state, is the fundamental target of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), which celebrated its 90th anniversary on Monday.
To mark the occasion, CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and other party officials and lawmakers laid a wreath at the Anıtkabir mausoleum of the founder of the republic, Atatürk, as well as the tomb of the second president of Turkey, İsmet İnönü. Atatürk established the CHP in 1923 upon the foundation of the modern Republic of Turkey. Both Atatürk and İnönü served as chairmen of the CHP while running the country as presidents.
The party issued a 33-article manifesto on Sunday, outlining its vision for the future of Turkey. Apart from some basic pillars of democracy, human rights and rule of law, the vision also renews the party’s policies on many areas from freedom of religion to education.
“We will pursue politics that would increase equality of opportunity and bring about a fair distribution of prosperity in Turkey. While keeping the army out of politics is of vital importance in democracies, not intervening in the army’s own domestic affairs is also a must for our national security,” the manifesto read. A well-functioning and independent judiciary is the most essential institution and an indication of a healthy separation of powers, it stressed, adding that the party aimed to free the judiciary from the political power’s tutelage. Here are some more aspects of the CHP’s “new democracy” vision:
- Universities will run themselves autonomously and the Supreme Education Board (YÖK) will be abolished. Education policy will be overhauled in accordance with contemporary Turkey’s needs and targets.
- Lifestyles are the choices of individuals and the state cannot impose lifestyles on its citizens. The press is free and cannot be censored. We will free the press from the political party’s pressure. The right to free assembly is complimentary to the freedom of expression.
- Secularism is the guarantee of freedom of religion and faith. Freedom of religion will be protected against political interventions.
- We will re-install Turkey as a country which has a weight in regional and global issues through a respectful, serious and stable foreign policy prioritizing national interest, reconciled with the principles of the Republic of Turkey, and coherent with the principle of ‘Peace at home, peace in the world.’ We will make Turkey a full member of the European Union and we will have good relations with all our neighbors.
- Pluralism and participation will be the main pillars of our political life.
- We will continue to produce a collective mind with all segments of society for the solution of the Kurdish question. We will insist that a solution must be endorsed by Parliament and should be provided through dialogue and social conciliation, on the basis of maintaining our national unity.
- We will reduce the election threshold for a healthier reflection of the people’s will at Parliament. We will empower the parliamentary system. We will limit the immunity of lawmakers.
- Science will be supported as a value and will be put at the center of our industry and development policies. Research and development will be supported and science and scientists will be provided with an autonomous environment. Arts and culture will be given support.