Turkish government to meet with ‘wise people’ April 4

Turkish government to meet with ‘wise people’ April 4

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish government to meet with ‘wise people’ April 4

A group of wise people was being chosen from among people trusted by the public who have worked on the issue,Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today. DHA photo

The members of the “wise people” commission, which is expected to play a central role in a public-relations offensive supporting the ongoing process to resolve the Kurdish issue, will meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 4.

The announcement about the meeting came from the prime minister himself on April 2, as he was addressing the parliamentary group of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Erdoğan also announced that the 49 members of the commission, who will represent the seven geographical regions of the country, will prepare a report on the peace process for the government within one month.

“We will both listen to the views and proposals of the wise people in this commission and will consult with them,” Erdoğan said of the April 4 meeting, adding that the government expected to finalize the names to be invited to the commission.

The names of the members-to-be have long been awaited and are greatly anticipated by the public, with the names of many popular figures being speculated about. Erdoğan said the members would be picked from among credible figures in academia, the arts and civil society who are respected by different segments of society and who have knowledge about the requirements of getting involved in such a process.

None of the names speculated about has been confirmed by the government. In response to questions in Istanbul, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said most of the names had already been designated and would probably be announced by April 4 when Erdoğan joins them at a dinner meeting at his office in Istanbul’s historical Dolmabahçe Palace.

Meeting with opinion leaders; holding symposiums, panels and conferences; making one-on-one contacts; and getting in touch with local, national and international media are among the things the commission members are expected to do, according to Erdoğan.

“We want to prepare a broad working ground for them on this issue so they will present us their reports after a month of work.” He said the process was open to contributions from all willing academics, artists and authors.

Earlier news reports said the expenditures of the commission would be financed by the discretionary fund of the Undersecretariat for Public Order and Security of the Interior Ministry. Also addressing her party’s parliamentary group, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Gültan Kışanak said there was a need for a commission that would respond to the expectations of people from different segments of society. “The AKP is not preparing the wise people list on its own. We have been preparing it together; we have also introduced proposals,” Kışanak told the Hürriyet Daily News following her address.