GeriGündem CHP's new program will embrace minorities
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CHP's new program will embrace minorities

CHP's new program will embrace minorities
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ANKARA - The main opposition Republican People’s Party finalizes the draft of a new party program. Race, religion, language, difference in origin and sect will be considered the richness of our cultural mosaic, a condition of our pluralism and a necessity for our democracy, reads the draft

The main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, the target of harsh criticism in recent years due to its lack of transformation, has taken up the challenge to change in a new party program.

The draft program, updated after 14 years and to be put into effect mid-December, foresees a more active role for the CHP in solving the country’s controversial issues, including the Kurdish problem and minority rights. The draft, “From 21st century to bright future through a compass for change,” offers integration instead of assimilation to solve the Kurdish issue.

“The Kurdish problem is a problem of democracy and development. Ethical and cultural differences are our richness. Different ethnicities, cultures, sects and religious beliefs of those living within national borders cannot prevent synergy and the creation of a nation,” the draft says, adding that the removal of differences can never be a policy of the state.

“We offer integration, not assimilation. A mother tongue is a means of dialogue, official language is a means of political unity,” it says.

Cultural Rights
With a fresh and tolerant attitude, the CHP also offers solutions on issues related to minority groups. For those defined as minorities by the Treaty of Lausanne, the draft secures their cultural rights with full force.

“Race, religion, language, difference in origin and sect will be considered the richness of our cultural mosaic, a condition of our pluralism and a necessity for our democracy,” the draft says. On gender equality, it stresses the need for affirmative action.

According to the draft, the CHP will also launch a daring initiative on the status of “cemevis,” Alevi prayer houses.

The main opposition defends the existence of the Department of Religious Affairs, saying it should be open for each sect wanting to join and promises to grant equal status to cemevis as given to mosques, so that they too can benefit from state facilities.

Another significant initiative of the program is in economy. The program says there is a need for a fair economic order.

“Privatization should not be a means to liquidate state enterprises. A fair economic order should be established. The most appropriate environment for local and foreign fixed capital investors will be supplied,” the program says.

It also says the economy should be protected against adverse effects caused by monopolization, with a competition authority to be activated.

In addition to economic policies focusing on trade, the program outlines a role for the social state. Through its new program, the CHP introduces "insurance for each family" and "payment for citizenship" initiatives.

The recent increase in terrorist attacks has been reflected in the CHP’s new program, which aims at restructuring the fight against terrorism.

While the program foresees a formation of a domestic security research institution and an undersecretary of domestic security, it also says the national intelligence organization should be restructured and there should be an end to village guardianship.

Other striking topics in the draft include the prevention of illegal tapping, ensuring judicial independence and efficiency, increasing transparency in relations between the media and politics and the prevention of monopolization in the media.

New model for Istanbul
A new local administrative model for Istanbul is outlined, as well as policies on quake-resistant cities, clean politics, environmental issues, support for performing arts and for the prevention of censorship in the arts.

It also outlines the creation of an information society and a regional mechanism for development and settlement issues, alongside increased relations with European ministries. 

The program says the party should take a strict stance on foreign policy issues.

Starting with the motto, “Turkey’s benefits, security and honor will be protected at all times,” the CHP draft initially focuses on the Cyprus issue.

“The Cyprus issue can only be solved by securing the rights of people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” the program says, adding that Armenia should leave aside the "so-called genocide claim" and develop relations with Turkey.

On relations with the European Union, the CHP draft insists on full membership with equal rights and respect. Drawing attention to the current ambiguous atmosphere between the EU and the Customs Union, the CHP said the Customs Union cannot be maintained under the unfair competition conditions that currently exist.

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