Turkey says to speed up Kurdish opening despite DTP ban

Turkish government said it would push ahead with Kurdish opening despite a ban on pro-Kurdish party DTP in parliament.

Turkey says to speed up Kurdish opening despite DTP ban


World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkish government said on Thursday it would push ahead with Kurdish opening aimed at expanding the rights of Kurd citizens despite a court ruling last week that closed down the pro-Kurdish party DTP in parliament.

Interior Minister Besir Atalay said the government was determined to push forward those efforts despite the Constitutional Court's ruling Dec. 11.

"The Kurdish initiative will continue with determination, the necessary regulations will be accelerated," Reuters news agency quoted Atalay as telling a news conference.

He said the government would send legislation to parliament as soon as possible to set up an independent body to investigate cases of torture.

Rights groups accuse Turkey's security forces of using torture against suspected PKK militants and activists.


Turkish interior minister has said the government would take necessary measures against provocations and provocateurs who "disturb peace in the country."

Anadolu news agency said, "We know very well those people who make our children hurl stones and we are also aware of the provocation attempts by those who make some people point blank guns.

"No doubt that we will bring these provocateurs before justice," Besir Atalay told the press conference.

Street protests took place in several parts of Turkey including Istanbul and the country's southeast after Turkey's highest court ruled to disband the Democratic Society Party (DTP) on December 11 over PKK links.

Two people have been killed during a similar demonstration in the eastern province of Mus when a shopkeeper opened fire on the protestors.

"As we have repeatedly said democratic regimes do not accept violence as a way to seek one's rights. We are closely watching those who resort to violence, damage property and threaten people with their lives and our security forces will continue to struggle against them," Atalay said.

Atalay reiterated commitment to proceed with its democratic initiative, adding that the government would speed up its efforts for short and medium term measures such as the formation of a council against discrimination and a council for human rights as well as an independent body for complaints for law enforcement.

The interior minister also said efforts were underway to set up an undersecretary for public order and security.

Such measure, along with others including loosening restrictions on the once-banned Kurdish language, were announced in November in parliament. They are fiercely opposed by nationalists, who regard them as "threat" to national unity.

The ban on DTP has caused violent protests in towns in Turkey.

Erdogan has called for national unity, criticising the ban.

The court, using a controversial political parties act, found the DTP guilty of PKK links.

Analysts fear the ban on DTP would strengthen the hand of the militant PKK by undermining confidence in the democratic process and the government's current reform initiative.

Last Mod: 17 Aralık 2009, 14:21
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