Saruhan Oluç, the parliamentary co-chair of the pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has criticised a recent declaration by six opposition parties on ‘transition to an enhanced parliamentary system’.
Oluç described the declaration as an ‘insufficient and problematic’ text on Friday, and said: “You write such a long text and nowhere do the words Kurdish or Alevi appear in it even once.”
An opposition alliance in Turkey, led by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), had announced on Monday the objectives in transition to an ‘enhanced parliamentary system’.
The six party alliance have jointly stated that they have a mutual agreement on these objectives as they intend to replace the current presidential system brought about by a controversial referendum in 2017 with an ‘enhanced parliamentary system’ as they call it.
Oluç referred positively to one of the objectives that promised to end the government’s policy of replacing elected mayors (in practice, almost all in Kurdish-majority provinces) with state-appointed trustees, and said:
“It is a good intention to say that the elected mayors will not be replaced by trustees but it is not sufficient. Local democracy should be developed and democratised in Turkey. Some authorities of the central government should be transferred to the local governments. We are not able to see in the text how far they are determined to do this.”
Oluç also criticised the text for the lack of any proposal regarding solutions to the problems faced by Kurds and Alevis.
“You write such a long text and nowhere do the words Kurdish or Alevi appear even once,” he said.
“I am not saying that you should talk only about them. However the Kurds and the Alevi people have historical problems, and they have demands. They ask for equal citizenship. The Constitution includes equal citizenship but it does not exist in practice. You may not have agreement on how these historical problems will be solved, but there should be a will, saying, ‘We are an alternative for solving these problems; we will solve these problems in Ankara through improvements in our democracy.’ Do you recognise these problems or not? When you do not speak about them at all, you are saying that you are not recognising these problems. We have the same problem in the system already. Therefore this is remarkable, it reveals lack of political courage. This is submission to the political pressure exercised by the government.”