MHP set to block DTK at charter commission

MHP set to block DTK at charter commission

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
MHP set to block DTK at charter commission

Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair and parliamentary deputy Ahmet Türk (2R) and DTK co-chair Aysel Tuğluk (R) are seen during a conference on the Kurdish issue. Next to Türk is Peace and Democracy Party co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş. IHA photo

The Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an umbrella group of Kurdish organizations, could become the first group snubbed by Parliament’s constitution-making panel unless it can overcome an objection from nationalist lawmakers.

Members of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have continued to object to hearing the charter proposals of the DTK, which was originally scheduled to make its presentation Jan. 23. The final decision will be made tomorrow.

The first meeting scheduled between the DTK and the Constitution Conciliation Commission was postponed after Ahmet İyikaya from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Oktay Öztürk from the MHP were unable to attend. The meeting was then scheduled to take place Jan. 30.

“They were going to listen to us last week, but they rescheduled it because not all members were able to attend. We never heard from them again. Our friends will raise the issue at the commission’s next meeting,” DTK co-chair and parliamentary deputy Ahmet Türk told the Hürriyet Daily News.

According to information obtained by the Daily News, the meeting was never rescheduled due to objections from the MHP. “Inviting the DTK to meet with us is against the commission’s principles. The commission can only invite legal institutions. The DTK is not built on a legal foundation. It is simply a platform,” the party said.

“The commission has members from the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party], who can express [the Kurdish community’s] views,” Öztürk told the Daily News. “What can Ahmet Türk say that is different from the BDP?”

Members of the MHP told the Daily News that they were unwilling to back down on their stance against the DTK.

Commission regulations dictate that a unanimous agreement must be reached for a decision to be made. The issue will thus be brought to the commission’s agenda tomorrow at the meeting led by Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek.

Members from the BDP said the commission must listen to all views before drafting the new constitution and that meetings had previously been held with “platform-type” organizations.

Atilla Kart from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) told the Daily News that the commission “needs to listen to all views without any restrictions.”

Meanwhile, the commission will also discuss tomorrow the removal of the website containing the views submitted by various organizations. The MHP had suggested the site be taken down, but the CHP has objected to the decision.

“That issue was misunderstood. It is not right to completely shut it down,” CHP deputy Rıza Türmen told the Daily News