Erdogan reveals democratization package

Turkish PM Erdogan has announced the expected democratization package.

Erdogan reveals democratization package

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Monday the highly-anticipated 'democratization package' at a press conference held in Turkish capital Ankara.

In the scope of the democratisation package, the ban on the headscarf, which constitutes an impediment for women in being employed and taking an efficient part in work life, will be abolished.

Erdogan has said that "Education in different languages and dialects will be possible at private schools."

He has said the practice of reiterating the student oath, which began in 1933, removed from secondary schools last year, will also be removed from primary schools as part of Turkey's democratization package. 

Lowering the Election Threshold

"We can maintain the 10% threshold. We can lower the threshold to 5% while implementing single-member district constituency system in groups of five. As the third option, we can remove the threshold altogether and fully implement the single-member district system."

With the amendment in Article 33 of the Law No. 2839, different alternatives are set forth in concern with the issue of lowering the election threshold throughout the country which is required for political parties to nominate candidates for Par general elections.It is envisaged in the first one of the relevant alternatives that the election threshold in the country shall be lowered to 5%; in the second one, the election threshold shall be lowered to 5% and single member district practice shall be implemented with groups of five; in the third one the election threshold shall be lowered to 5% and single member district practice shall be implemented with groups of three; and in the forth one, the election threshold shall be totally abolished and single member district practice shall be created.

Expanding the Scope of State Aid to Political Parties

Erdogan said that the current 7% state aid threshold to political parties would be reduced to 3%. 

With the implementation of the amendment, the scope of the state aid granted to political parties will be expanded. Within this framework, the current 7% aid threshold will be reduced to 3%. Furthermore, political parties which did not participate in elections, but have completed their organizational structures so as to acquire the right to participate in elections according to Law No. 2820 and have a group in the TGNA (Turkish Grand National Assembly), can also benefit from state aid.

Abolishment of the Ban on Political Propaganda in Languages other than Turkish

"Bans over the publication of political propaganda for elections in different languages will be lifted."

With an upcoming amendment in the second paragraph of Article 58 of Law No. 298, which is also included in the reform package, languages and dialects other than Turkish may be used in any propaganda conducted by political parties and nominees.

Thus political parties will be able to address our citizens in languages and dialects other than Turkish during election campaigns.

Protecting the respect for lifestyle

"Deterrent sanctions against hate crimes and disrespect to lifestyles will be practiced"

With a new paragraph added to Article 115 of the Turkish Penal Code, a new crime is created so that a person who intervenes in a person's lifestyle preferences shaped by his/her beliefs, opinions or conviction or forces him/her to change his/her lifestyle by resorting to force or threat or other illegal behaviourswill be punished in accordance with the provision of the first paragraph. Consequently intervening in others' lifestyles is regulated so as to constitute a crime.

On the other hand, with the purpose of further enhancing freedom of thought and faith,an additional clause in the second paragraph of the relevant article will guarantee theimposition of sanctions against those who prevent others from fulfilling the requirements of their religious beliefs or from worshipping individually or collectively.

With the relevant arrangements, penal sanctions will be implemented with regard to the protection of a person’s lifestyle, which is an indispensable part of a person’s character and is freely adopted by him/her against any kind of forceful and violent intervention.

Changing the name of "Nevşehir University" to “Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli University"

Erdogan said that the name of "Nevşehir University" will be changed to “Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli University"

This will be realized through a law amendment.

Amendment on the By-Law on the Attire of Personnel Working in Public

The ban on the headscarf has also officially been lifted.

The By-Law on the attire of personnel working in public institutions and organizations included restrictive provisions for both male and female officers," Erdogan said. "These limitations violated the freedom of thought and faith, right to employment, and included discrimination." 

Removal of the Student oath

The student oath of allegiance to the Kemalist system will no longer be in practice.

The practice of reiterating the student oath, which was removed from elementary schools with an amendment on the by-lawlast year, will also be removed from primary schools. An amendment on the relevant by-law will be made by the Ministry of National Education in this respect.

Returning to the Land of Mor Gabriel Monastery to the Relevant Foundatioın

An area of 276 hectares which belongs to the Mor Gabriel (Deyrulumur) Monastery located in Midyat district of Mardin province was returned to the Treasury as a consequence of the case launched by the Treasury.

The relevant land will be returned to the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation. With an amendment, which demonstrates that the property rights of all citizens are guaranteed without any discrimination, the victimization of the Assyrian community will be brought to an end.

Education in Different Languages

Erdogan has said that "Education in different languages and dialects will be possible at private schools."

Within this framework, a provision indicating "private training centers may be established in order to provide education in the different languages and dialects traditionally used by Turkish citizens in daily life" is added to the Law on Education and Training in Foreign Languages and Learning Different Languages and Dialects of Turkish Citizens, making it possible to provide education in different languages and dialects in private schools.

Romani Institue

A"Romani Institute" will be established at a university in one of the provinces densely populated with Romani citizens in order to conduct scientific studies on the language and culture of Romani citizens, as well as to research theproblems they have encountered and to develop solutions in this respect.

Parliament returns from its summer recess on Oct. 1 to vote on the package and will vote on the package.

Last Mod: 30 Eylül 2013, 15:28
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