ANKARA - TDN Parliament Bureau
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged all members of his party to refrain from actions that might lead to new controversies in the eyes of the public.
The pressure came as Erdoğan warned Edibe Sözen, a deputy of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, who recently withdrew her much-criticized proposals for protecting children, including establishing a place of worship in schools for students of every religion.
Sources said Erdoğan asked for elaboration from Sözen on her proposal for protecting the young, which stirred debate in the media, during his party's executive board meeting Monday. Sözen said she based her proposal on German laws and hoped for a broader debate but withdrew it amid the harsh criticism.
After listening to Sözen's defense, Erdoğan stressed the need to consider the timing of such proposals, implying good sense must be exercised, although the risk of closure has passed. �We are going through sensitive times that need caution and ultimate care. This is valid for each one of us. We all need to refrain from any actions or statements that could create new tensions,� Erdoğan said, according to some sources who attended Monday's meeting.
Because Sözen is among the deputy parliamentary leaders of the party and also on the executive board, Erdoğan reminded her to wait for considerations inside the party next time before sharing her proposals with media and the public.
Meanwhile secretariat general of the AKP issued a written statement yesterday saying Sözen's proposal was a personal initiative. "The proposal was neither discussed nor adopted by relevant bodies of the party. It is neither in line with AKP's programme and reguations," the statement read which was considered as an attempt to avoid Sözen's proposal to be filed as evidence to possible future occaisons blaming the party for becoming a focus of anti-secularism.
Sözen's withdrawn proposal for a place of worship for students of all religions also called for youngsters who purchase *****graphic publications to present their identification number to the supplier to be registered by the GeneralDirectorate ofYouth and Sports, and also held that papers and periodicals would not be allowed to feature anything that contains violence and sexuality and that periodicals that feature *****graphic material would be sold in a red bag.