Turkey's ruling AKP spokesperson says time needed for democratization

Turkey's ruling AKP spokesperson says time needed for democratization

Turkeys ruling AKP spokesperson says time needed for democratization

Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik said the government was working on the democratization process, which would take time. AA photo

The government-led judicial packages come in parts as democratization needs time, according to the ruling party’s spokesperson.

“We have been criticized for not making all the amendments at the same time, but it is impossible,” Hüseyin Çelik, deputy leader and spokesperson of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) told a news conference yesterday. “There is something called Zeitgeist [spirit of the time], many things we do today would not have been possible back in 2003, they could even be considered as reasons to close down our party and could have been used as an excuse for a military coup.”

The government has already approved four judicial reform packages in Parliament, which it said expanded the individual freedoms in the country. The preparations for a fifth one, which is expected to support the ongoing bid for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem, are in progress.

Çelik said the work on the reform package had been completed.

“The draft will be debated in the presence of the prime minister,” the ruling party spokesperson said. “When it is reshaped according to our prime minister’s wishes, it will be shared with the public. The delay is due to our prime minister’s heavy schedule, we hope to announce it after the Bayram within this month.”

End of recess

Çelik said the reform package included amendments to laws, regulations, as well as the Constitution. The opening of the new parliamentary term, scheduled for Oct. 1, could be rescheduled to September if the opposition parties agreed, he added.

The ruling party spokesperson also focused on the widespread criticism of the conviction of more than 250 people for plotting to overthrow the current government in the Ergenekon trial, with a particular emphasis on the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) stance against the court rulings.

“They say the court that gave the verdict is illegitimate, but the same court ordered the release of [arrested CHP mp-elect Mehmet] Haberal,” Çelik said. “They say they will not recognize the court rulings, will they not recognize this ruling, too?”

Turkey was settling the scores with “the system of guardianship” and was going through a democratization process, he added.

“There has not been an unsolved political murder since the Ergenekon suspects were arrested,” Çelik said. “There are no executions in the name of the state; no people go missing when in detention. Do not these things tell the people something? Are you kidding with the public? Hence, let the judiciary give its verdict.”