Activists call for democratic reforms amid settlement process

The civil society representatives said the peace process represented a vital opportunity for the country but stressed that it must be handled as a political, rather than a military, issue.

Activists call for democratic reforms amid settlement process

World Bulletin/News Desk

One hundred eleven activists, politicians, journalists and artists have called for a democratic constitutional compromise amidst the ongoing settlement process between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), stressing that democracy is the only way to secure a lasting peace in Turkey.

In a statement released in the Radikal daily yesterday, the civil society representatives said the peace process represented a vital opportunity for the country but stressed that it must be handled as a political, rather than a military, issue and that a democratic compromise on Turkey's new constitution would play an important role in these efforts.

The statement's signatories represented a broad array of Turkish left-liberal politics. Among them were Hosrof Dink, brother of murdered Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, journalists such as Ece Temelkuran, Pınar Öğünç and Ahmet Şık, a number of deputies from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and academics such as Koray Çalışkan and Büşra Ersanlı.

The PKK has already called a cease-fire and is set to begin withdrawing from Turkey on Wednesday as part of the process of ending Turkey's decades-long conflict with the group and finding a peaceful resolution to the grievances of the country's Kurdish population.

At the same time, ongoing efforts to create a civilian constitution to replace the present one, drafted under military rule in 1982, have grinded nearly to a halt as a result of the inability of the parliamentary commission tasked with drafting the new constitution to reach a compromise on a number of issues.

The statement said everyone who is on the side of peace and democracy ought to work towards a constitutional compromise based on democratic principles. It also noted with concern the state's handling of the recent attempt by many trade unions and political parties to celebrate May 1 in İstanbul's Taksim Square despite a ban due to an ongoing controversial construction project in the area. 

Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2013, 11:01
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