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"Democracy package": More cooperation needed for true peace and democratisation in Turkey to succeed

Date

01 Oct 2013

Sections

Enlargement
Justice & Home Affairs

The so-called "democratisation package"* presented by Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan is a step in the right direction", according to GUE/NGL MEP Jürgen Klute (Germany), but "cannot be seen as a substitute for the urgently needed constitutional reform" in the country. 

Commenting further on the details of the initiative, Klute criticises the "missed opportunity to bring new momentum to the peace process with the PKK, which was considered its main purpose. None of the key Kurdish demands - mother-tongue education in public schools, the release of political prisoners and the introduction of a fair electoral threshold to enable parliamentary pluralism - were fulfilled."

"These demands are also broadly shared by the European institutions and civil society in EU Member States. Accordingly, the reform package is insufficient to catch up with EU standards of democratic pluralism, protection of minorities and self-determination at local and regional level," MEP Klute adds. 

Regarding the Prime Minister's goal of establishing lasting peace with the Kurds and within the State, Klute regrets the missed opportunity of not having included BDP members in the drafting of the package, who had reportedly been left in the dark about the democratisation proposals.

Klute added: "Peace and democracy is all about being able to cooperate and negotiate in order to find political compromises that can be accepted by groups that don‘t share the same views. I hope that Prime Minister Erdogan will be able to understand this principle."

*The "democratisation package" as presented on 30 September in Ankara seeks to introduce the right to Kurdish education in private schools; the permission to use the three letters "q, w and x", which exist in Kurdish but not in the Turkish alphabet; and the restoration of Kurdish cities' and villages' original Kurdish names.

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