Turkish PM sets date for the announcement of much-anticipated democratization package

Turkish PM sets date for the announcement of much-anticipated democratization package

Turkish PM sets date for the announcement of much-anticipated democratization package

Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gestures as he speaks during a meeting at his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) party headquarters in Ankara on September 20, 2013. AFP Photo

The government’s much-anticipated democratization package is likely to be announced on Monday September 30, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, adding that this would open “a new phase in an 11-year process.”

"We will make the announcement most probably on the last day of the month in Ankara. We have no hesitation regarding democratization. As a party which has suffered from bans, we have always stood against discriminations and restrictions of freedom of expression,” Erdoğan said Sept. 21 in a speech during a lunch with NGOs in the eastern city of Malatya.

The reform package is seen as crucial, particularly to regain lost momentum on the Kurdish peace process initiated nine months ago.

'CHP arm-in-arm with outlawed groups'

Erdoğan also commented on the rocket attack targeting police buildings in Ankara, emphasizing that one of the suspected perpetrators killed following the incident was also the suspect of a similar attack against the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) national headquarters in March.

Erdoğan vowed that the perpetrators will pay the price for their crimes. “Otherwise, it will be a display of incompetence,” he said. 

Erdoğan also accused the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for siding with the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), which the suspects allegedly belong to, during the nationwide Gezi Park protests.

“CHP has demonstrated an affinity with this organization in Taksim [The area in Istanbul where the Gezi Park protests were mostly staged]. In Ankara, at the Middle East Technical University CHP staged demonstrations with this sanguinary organization,” Erdoğan said, warning particularly the Alevi minority.

“I said last week in Adıyaman that CHP intends to put a dirty plot into action. They are trying to stage provocations in Malatya by inciting the feelings of our Alevi brothers,” he said.

The prime minister also responded to CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s criticisms on Ankara’s foreign policy at a peace rally a day earlier.

“If the CHP leader understands peace, he should go and explain it to [Bashar] al-Assad or to his deputies putting up barricades in the streets. He did not utter a word while children were being massacred in Syria or when a coup was staged in Egypt. Now he suddenly remembers that word,” he said.

Erdoğan will spend two days in the Malatya province, homeland of former Presidents İsmet İnönü and Turgut Özal.