Turkish gov't to ‘freeze’ judicial bill if opposition agrees to charter change on key body
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asked for the opposition's support on a judicial reform. DAILY NEWS photoTurkey’s government is ready to “freeze” a controversial judicial bill if opposition parties support a constitutional amendment on the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.
“If the opposition says, ‘Let’s do the constitutional amendment together,’ we will freeze the bill proposal. We will even not submit it to the General Assembly [agenda] if necessary,” Erdoğan said Jan. 14 on a draft bill that stirred violent debates at parliamentary commissions over the weekend.
Erdoğan’s offer came a day after an initiative from President Abdullah Gül, who held meetings with the leaders of three opposition parties in Parliament to help resolve the row over the judiciary sparked after a damaging graft scandal. Following his talks with the opposition leaders on Jan. 13, Gül also received Erdoğan in a final meeting.
“If we can do this, the government and the opposition all together, this would be a gain for our country. I am making a clear offer. All the parliamentary groups will have the opportunity to be represented on the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors the same way they are represented at the Radio and Television Supreme Council [RTÜK],” Erdoğan said during his party’s group meeting at the Parliament.
“If we can quickly pass a constitutional amendment of a few articles, we will freeze our legal arrangement works and continue with a constitutional amendment,” Erdoğan said.
Before Erdoğan’s speech, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chair Nurettin Canikli submitted the offer to the opposition parties. While the Republican People’s Party (CHP) agreed to consider the proposition, it was rejected by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) representatives.
The withdrawal of the controversial bill was a condition of the CHP for supporting the government’s constitutional amendment move.
“We want to prevent political interventions against the judiciary. We want the judiciary to be independent. We want a judiciary which is in its own command,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters following his 45-minute meeting with Gül Jan. 13.