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Turkey: Crucial Discussions on Constitutional Amendments in Absence of Kurds | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Meral Akşener. Reuters.png

Ankara-Turkey’s Parliament committee gathered for the first time Friday, excluding pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), to discuss changes to the country’s constitution and carried out the discussions on Tuesday.

In a move showing unity between the parties, the ruling Justice and Development Party or AK Party, the main opposition Republican People’s Party or CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party or MHP– clearly signaled that they would preserve the common ground that emerged in the wake of the July 15 defeated coup.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş commented on the exclusion of the HDP on Sunday.

“As a party which has received votes from 5 million people, the HDP is a legitimate political party. This is what we have been insistently saying since June 7,” Kurtulmuş said.

In the June 7, 2015, parliamentary elections, the HDP emerged as a voice of hope for marginalized Kurds as well as left-wing voters.

After the June 7 results failed to produce a single-party government and coalition talks failed, snap elections were held on Nov. 1, 2015, bringing the AKP to power as a single-party government yet again.

“The HDP needs to remain in the legitimate realm of politics,” Kurtulmuş said, adding that the HDP should particularly “exclude the PKK [the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] by saying ‘the PKK is a terror organization.’”

“The HDP should meet the expectations of the people who voted for it,” said the deputy prime minister.

In a common matter, the Nationalist Movement Party sent four members, including ex-Deputy Meral Aksener, a vocal challenger for the party leadership, to the party’s disciplinary committee for discharge proceedings.

The members are accused of breaching sections of the party constitution, which require cooperation, communication, and mutual respect among the party members.