Amid huge expectations, this reform package was pitched as a historic step that could usher in substantial transformations in Turkey’s parliament, education system and religious and ethnic freedoms.
After his crackdown on the Gezi Park protests in June appealed to religious and nationalist sensitivities, Mr Erdogan now seems to be trying to bolster his popularity with liberal, left-wing and Kurdish voters before an election cycle next year.
Finding a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question is a key motive. The co-chair of the Kurdish BDP party says the package does not meet their expectations. However, as long as there is a commitment to further reform in the future, the announcement could set the wheels of the peace process back in motion.
There has been no strong political opposition to removing the ban on headscarves, though it may be regarded as another step in the AK Party’s Islamisation of Turkey.
The lack of any new rights for the Alevi religious minority – one of the most important political fault lines in the country – has also been criticised. But the government said it is preparing a separate reform package on the issue.
Source : BBC
- Turkish PM announces plans for human rights reforms that will end ban on headscarves (abc.net.au)
- Erdogan announces Kurdish reforms (bbc.co.uk)
- Turkey unveils political reforms package (thehindu.com)
- Turkish PM unveils reforms after summer of protests (theguardian.com)