Turkish army ends boycott to pro-Kurdish MPs, joining parlt opening

Turkey's military attended the opening of parliament for the first time after the boycott to pro-Kurdish party since 2007.

Turkish army ends boycott to pro-Kurdish MPs, joining parlt opening

Turkey's military attended the opening of parliament yesterday for the first time after the boycott to pro-Kurdish party, Democratic Society Party (DTP) since 2007, in a sign of support to government's democratic initiative.

The secular military had boycotted parliament's activities since Abdullah Gul was elected president in 2007, an election hardline secularists called on military to intervene, Reuters said. 

The military attended parliament earlier this year when US President Barack Obama gave a speech there, but had otherwise stayed away from the assembly since they launched a boycott against DTP lawmakers who were elected as independent members of parliamentary.

Yesterday, military commander General Ilker Basbug, who has struck a more conciliatory tone with the government since his appointment to the top military post last year, listened gravely from a stand as Gul addressed the assembly.

Basbug, who was accompanied by his top commanders, did not clap or stand up after Gul ended his 45-minute speech.

The army has often intervened in Turkish politics in the past, but its power has waned under EU-inspired reforms.

Kurdish opening

Turkish Premier Erdogan recently announced that his government initiated a move to deal with the Kurdish issue and the Ministry of Interior was assigned with the coordination of this task.

As a first step, Interior Minister Atalay held a press conference to inform the public about the government's "democratic move" to address the so-called "Kurdish Issue". Atalay made clear that this was a process where measures would be shaped along the way through consensus of all state organs and all components of the society. Atalay said they would visit all political parties to ask for their contribution and support.

He later met with a group of journalists at a workshop titled "Solution of the Kurdish Issue: Towards a Turkey Model".

Agencies
Last Mod: 02 Ekim 2009, 08:19
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