Opposition moves for closer EU dialogue

Opposition moves for closer EU dialogue

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Eager to raise its international profile, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is planning to organize a meeting on the Arab Spring with foreign Social Democrats and step up dialogue with the European Union.

For the two-day Arab Spring conference, scheduled for late March in Istanbul, the party will invite Social Democrats from Arab and European countries, members of Socialist International, academics, opinion leaders and youth and women leaders from Arab countries. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is on the party’s invitation list as well.

“Freedom and democracy discourse has dominated the Arab Spring process, but there is a big gap between rhetoric and reality. The aim of our meeting is to link the Arab Spring with social democracy approaches,” CHP Deputy Chairman Faruk Loğoğlu told the Hürriyet Daily News.

He explained the transformation in Arab countries appeared to proceed in line with the interest of Western powers, overshadowing the demands for democracy and social justice that were at the core of mass demonstrations at the outset of the uprisings.

Separately, the CHP is considering the establishment of a mechanism of closer dialogue with the European Commission, Loğoğlu said.

Meanwhile, Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament are gravely concerned about the decision of the Turkish judiciary to launch a probe against Mr Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of CHP, a recent press release of the S&D group announced.