Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party made public on Friday the contents of its defensive statement against charges in a case filed to disband the party.
Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek submitted AK Party's verbal defense in a more than six-hour hearing at the Constitutional Court on Thursday.
"We need to make a cost analysis as to what results closing political parties had yielded other than deepening political fragility in the society and causing the society to be drained of its strength," a text of the statement posted on AK Party's web-site quoted Cicek as telling the highest court.
"One cannot call a political system 'a contemporary constitutional democracy' if we do not accept political parties as the indispensable elements of the political life and grant them a sufficient level of freedom of expression," Cicek said.
"There has been no practical use in denying a social reality by acting on political and conjunctural motivations. Passing successive rulings to shut down political parties removes the opportunity to produce solutions to the problems in the country within the confines of democracy and law. In democratic systems the survival of political parties is essential and their closure is exceptional," Cicek said.
"Liquidating elements of diversity in the society from the institutional and political life constitutes an entrapment for democracy, and it pushes democracy away from its premises and to forms of regimes which we would not like to live in," Cicek said.
"AK Party does not threaten democracy, instead it is virtually the only address drawing democrats of this country towards itself," Cicek said.
"While stating the reasons for closure of political parties, the indictment makes reference to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Venice Commission principles; it ignores the fact that the Venice Commission introduced a kind of protection system for political parties by stating that only political parties advocating violence can be closed," Cicek said.
"The indictment contains mention of the criteria displayed in the decisions of the ECHR on the banning of political parties but it does not show why, in accordance with these criteria, the AK Party should be closed," he said.
Last Mod: 04 Temmuz 2008, 18:31