Tag Archives: political closure

Turkey To EU-We Are Moving Toward Full Democracy

The ruling Justice and Development Party(AKP) of Turkey is pushing through Constitutional amendments aimed at bolstering democratic procedures and rights in the nation. The package of rights includes creating an ombudsman who will have power to inspect state agencies to ensure human rights and ethics are being respected. One amendment is aimed at the current effort by the Constitutional Court to close down the AKP on grounds it seeks to foster creation of an Islamic society. New laws make it more difficult for prosecutors to take action to close down political parties except in cases where they are seeking violent action against government authority.

The new amendments creates primaries for political parties and members of the legislature must declare their financial assets. The package places great emphasis on gender equality. “The state shall take necessary measues including legal and administrative arrangements to make sure that men and women are equal in every field.” A provision also expands the rights of children and gives them to right to express their opinions freely.

Turkish Population Opposes Outlawing Political Party

The people of Turkey are uneasy regarding attempts by Chief Prosecutor Abudurrahman Yacinkaya to have the Constitutional Court outlaw the Justice and Development Party which represents the views of moderate Muslims. A recent poll conducted in Turkey reveals that 70% of Turks oppose any attempt to declare illegal a political party which is currently governing the nation. About one-fourth of Turks regard the AKP as a threat to the basic values and structures of their government. Almost 50% said they had lost confidence in the Constitutional Court because it decided to hear the case while 21% said the decision was based on legal grounds.

About 37% expessed dissent with the concept that a political party should be closed down while 22.8% said “speeches and actions that conflict with the law” were legitimate criteria in making the decision to declare a political party to be illegal.

The old adage about actions speaking louder than words holds true in politics. The AKP up to this point has adhered to Turkish law. Its action in attempting to make legal the right of a woman to wear a headscarf in university is a controversial one, but certainly not cause to close down a political party.