Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) is ready to help develop a new constitution, the party’s co-chair, Tuncer Bakırhan, announced on Tuesday, adding that the changes must be democratic and inclusive, rejecting the notion of a constitution that favours the interests of a select group.
He called for a collaborative effort to establish necessary conditions for a democratic constitution, emphasising the importance of abolishing laws that hinder democratic politics and ensuring freedom of expression for all citizens.
During his speech in his party’s group meeting, the HEDEP co-chair addressed recent controversies surrounding the judiciary, particularly the judicial battle between Turkey’s two supreme courts.
On 8 November, the Court of Cassation refused to recognise a Constitutional Court ruling to release detained opposition MP Can Atalay, and lodged a criminal complaint against members of the higher court.
Analysts suggest that the ongoing judicial crisis in Turkey is a calculated move by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to fortify its long-standing demand for constitutional changes as opposition parties and legal organisations raise concerns about the government’s increasing influence over the judiciary.
Bakırhan accused the Court of Cassation of attempting a coup and argued that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan openly supported the Court of Cassation, effectively endorsing the attempted coup.
According to Bakırhan, the persisting threat of a coup mechanism is a grim reality in Turkey, and democratic politics are under constant attack. He argued that the Kurdish problem is left unresolved intentionally. According to the HEDEP Co-chair, the suppression of democratic politics and the unresolved Kurdish issue are key factors contributing to the current state of affairs.
Bakırhan further argued that the coup mentality has led to a multitude of crises, resulting in over 30 million people living below the poverty line in Turkey.
Referring to international reports ranking Turkey 148th out of 173 countries in terms of the rule of law, Bakırhan stressed an urgent need to confront and defeat this mentality in the country.