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Erdogan’s Democracy Package Gets Cool Reception

The AKP’s long-anticipated reform package has produced mixed reactions in Turkey, while EU circles remain cautiously optimistic.
A televised news conference of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is screened on televisions at an electronics shop in Istanbul September 30, 2013. Turkey may reduce the threshold for a political party to enter parliament to 5 percent of the national vote, or even eliminate the barrier completely, Erdogan said on Monday. The current 10 percent threshold has kept pro-Kurdish groupings outside of parliament and a reform that may help advance a flagging peace process with Kurdish militants. In a major polic

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may in the coming weeks have serious difficulties winning over discontented segments of the society, as well as the political groups within the EU, which apparently were not impressed with his long-awaited "democracy package."

The 21-point declaration for reform was anticipated with expectations raised, mainly by the delay of the AKP and Erdoğan’s promiseful rhetoric. Though he tried to tone it down, it was tightly linked to the so-called "Peace Process" with the outlawed PKK, and its political wing, the BDP. The government, keen on the conservative-nationalist sensitivities on the issue, covered a broad range of issues, such as hate crime and privacy.

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