Turkey’s new democratization reform package may mark a step forward for civil rights, but it does not go far enough to ease social tension and feelings of mistrust that are afflicting the country, analysts say.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the long-awaited reform package on September 30, saying it ushered in “a new, decisive phase” in Turkey’s democratization process.
But after a summer during which Erdoğan’s reformist reputation was shredded by a violent police crackdown on anti-government protests, many Turks see the package mostly as an attempt to repair the prime minister’s battered image. “The fact that this is being marketed as a big reform package is precisely because the government is seeing that they are failing on that front,” said Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, a political columnist at Milliyet newspaper, an influential publication generally critical of the government. “It’s not enough, it’s hardly enough, but it’s a start.”
To read the full story
Alexander Christie-Miller is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.