Turkey's ruling AKP to 'focus on human rights, returning to EU process in reform package'

Turkey's ruling AKP will reportedly focus on strengthened human rights and returning to the EU process in its reform package. The package will include 49 aims and 374 actions.

President Erdoğan (R) is seen during a parliamentary group meeting of the AKP on Jan 27.

Duvar English

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will reportedly focus on strengthened human rights and the course towards European Union accession in its planned reform package. 

The policies of the AKP regarding the EU will return to what it was in its formation period, during which the party was eager to join the bloc, the daily Milliyet reported on Jan. 28. 

The package, of which the details will be announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will include regulations that will pave the way for new chapters to be opened in order for visa-free travel for Turkish citizens, prevention of human rights violations, protection of victims' rights and democratic participation.

A total of 49 aims and 374 actions are included in the package. Some 128 regulations will be brought to life through presidential decrees, 60 will be through legislation and 186 to be via administrative processes, Milliyet said. 

Erdoğan previously announced that the AKP will carry out reforms in the areas of economy and judiciary. His announcement raised hopes that political prisoners would finally be released, mainly former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and human rights activist and philanthropist Osman Kavala, but Erdoğan was quick to crush these expectations by branding them "terrorists." 

The reform package was discussed in the Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting held on Jan. 26. Treasury and Finance Minister Lütfi Elvan and Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül attended the meeting and Erdoğan gave approval to the final version of the reform package. According to Milliyet, the AKP will start discussing the package with its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and then the other parties in parliament next week. 

The package will also reportedly include steps to speed up the process in the individual applications filed to the Constitutional Court in order to make the top court act faster and prevent people's victimization. 

Another planned move of the AKP is to clarify the scope of authorities for members of the judiciary.