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Turkey's deputy FM willing to see former DTP deputies in new party

18 December 2009 [11:34] - TODAY.AZ
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has expressed willingness to see the deputies of the now-defunct pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) in a new political formation.
The Constitutional Court last week decided to close down the DTP and ban 37 of its members from politics, including DTP leader Ahmet Türk and DTP deputy Aysel Tuğluk. The court convicted the party of engaging in ethnic separatism and having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“Whatever the name of the party is, you will set up a parliamentary group with 20 people, and you will only be lacking one deputy [versus the DTP’s deputy count before the closure],” Arınç said in a televised interview on STV on Wednesday.

Arınç said he was personally against the closure of political parties, as a person victimized by the closure of his former parties, and described the party closures as “outdated.”

Three political parties of which Arınç was a member have been closed down by the Constitutional Court. They were the National Salvation Party, the Welfare Party (RP) and the Virtue Party (FP).

Arınç said everyone had told the DTP that it was important for it to be democratically represented in Parliament but that it had to be careful about its remarks, behavior and deeds.

The DTP had failed to label the PKK a terrorist organization despite growing reactions from the other political parties and the public.

“An indirect or structural tie with a terrorist organization cannot be considered a democratic criterion anywhere in the world,” Arınç noted.

He added that he was sorry for the politicians who had been banned from politics for five years but said there was no obstacle before them to run for Parliament as independents in the event of an election.

Regarding the decision of the DTP deputies to resign from Parliament after the closure of their party, Arınç said they would continue to retain their positions as deputies unless Parliament approves their resignation.

About the government’s Kurdish initiative, which was launched in the summer to resolve Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish problem, he said the process has not been interrupted due to the latest developments in the country and that the government was determined to push ahead with the process to expand freedoms.

He also noted that the government was ready to consider new proposals and criticism regarding its Kurdish initiative.

/Todays Zaman/

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