Erdoğan's rhetoric shows democratic reforms are a pipe dream, columnist says

Turkish President ’s latest remarks fueled scepticism about his reform pledge, Muharrem Sarıkaya, a columnist of Habertürk daily, said on Thursday.

Erdoğan set the limits of the upcoming reforms and spurred talks of sweeping judicial and economic reforms in the Turkish parliament’s corridors during an address to the members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the parliament, Sarıkaya said.

“I have written in this column before, the reform package will focus on solving the problems arising from implementation,” he said.

“There will be neither a system change nor a new democratic opening package.”

Erdoğan promised a series of far-reaching reforms in the fields of economy, democracy and the rule of law on Nov. 13, leading to expectations of the possible release of politicians and human rights advocates from jail, reforms to the presidential system and revival of efforts to solve Turkey’s longstanding Kurdish question.

But Erdoğan slammed speculation over the release of two high profile figures, businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala, and former leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, and a possible return to the parliamentary system.

He also declared that there “is no Kurdish problem in this country” and defended the removal of elected HDP mayors from posts in the southeast.

Erdoğan’s “road map shows that what is spoken in the backstage will not come true,” Sarıkaya said.

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