Sunday, October 6, 2013

PM Erdogan announces democratization package

Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Turkey to be the model for a tolerant peaceful Islamic democracy.  He is one of a number of people who are vying to become the leader of the Islamic world.  He sees it as the natural position for Turkey considering their history as the center of the Islamic Caliphate during the Ottoman dynasty which ended in 1924. There is a great deal of interest in the Middle East in the revival of the Caliphate.

To this end, the prime minister has introduced a package of democratizing changes to Turkish Law and Constitution.  We have included two links to separate article covering this.  The first is a brief synapsis of the changes.  the second is a longer and more detailed article.

PM Erdogan announces democratization package

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the highly-anticipated ’democratization package’ at a press conference held in capital Ankara.
Erdogan mentioned the following legal amendments on enhancing political rights:
Election threshold
Erdogan said the government would propose three options to be discussed in the coming weeks for the election threshold:
a) Maintaining the current threshold of 10%
b) Lowering the threshold to 5% while implementing single-member district constituency system in groups of five.
c) Removing the threshold altogether and fully implementing the single-member district system.
Erdogan also said the current threshold on parties for receiving state aid would be lowered to 3% from the current 7%.

PM Erdogan announces democratization package

ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan has unveiled a number of reforms on issues regarding political rights, such as election threshold, party organization, and propaganda in non-Turkish languages.

Announcing the democratization package, Erdogan elaborated on the new reforms and amendments regarding education.

He stated that they thoroughly reviewed the different practices of education in different languages and dialects in many countries with different methods.

"First of all, a law amendment in 2003 made it possible to open private courses to teach different languages and dialects traditionally used by our citizens in daily life as language courses were made available within the body of these courses for the same purposes," he said.

Erdogan reminded that they later paved the way for the establishment of departments in universities for training in different languages and dialects.

As for the democratization of education system, Erdogan added that they introduced a new system providing the opportunity to learn different languages and dialects by taking elective courses upon request.

"Now we are enabling providing education in different languages and dialects at private schools," said Erdogan.

Turkish PM Erdogan noted that the expression "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" was 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.

"Council of Ministers will determine the languages and dialects to be used in education at the said schools and certain courses of these schools will be in Turkish," Erdogan further said.

- "Nevsehir University" into “Haci Bektas-i Veli University"

Within the framework of the democratization package, Turkish Premier also dwelled upon the change in the name of the "Nevsehir University."

"The name of `Nevsehir University` will be changed to `Haci Bektas-i Veli University`," said Erdogan, adding that it would be realized through a law amendment.

Haci Bektas-i Veli was a prominent religious figure of Alevi belief, who lived and taught from 1209 to 1271 in Anatolia.