It was not expected that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) would nullify the recent efforts for a new constitution that had the four parties in Parliament together. The work to create a new constitution was not expected to yield any results, but the dissolution of the Constitution Conciliation Committee before the work began was a total surprise. As is already known, three people from each party were on the committee, and they agreed at their first meeting to take decisions after reaching consensus. This agreement had already signaled that no results would be obtained from the committee. There were some signs indicating that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) preferred majority rule in taking decisions. Also, it was not hard to predict that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would prefer consensus. In this case, if the CHP had defended majority rule, the MHP might have left the committee and put the CHP into a tight spot. But if the CHP had insisted on consensus, the AK Party and the HDP, which favored the committee to actively operate, would have affirmed that.
In other words, the rule for consensus already guaranteed that anything the CHP did not approve would not be included in a new constitution, paving the way for the blocking of the work. So why did the CHP take this latest step, which did not even allow the Constitution Conciliation Committee to begin its activities? The suggested reasons are quite humorous. According to a committee member who acted as a spokesman of the CHP, they thought it would be a committee seeking the ways to get rid of the influence of coups. "We perceived the process as an endeavor to redeem ourselves from pro-coup laws along with the constitutional efforts." So they imagined the implementation of work that would simultaneously handle all the sub-regulations that annihilate fundamental rights and liberties. To put it differently, the CHP sat at the table with the expectation of working on the current Constitution and all the current bodies of law one by one to purify them from pro-coup laws.
Let us assume for a moment that this announcement is really sincere. The CHP members might not have sufficiently focused on the subject. They might not have followed the discussions in domestic affairs due to the Syria crisis. However, the article they set forth as a precondition at the Constitution Conciliation Committee is confusing since it demands the preamble to the current Constitution's emphasis on Turkish nationalism and Kemalism to remain the same. Paradoxically, the pro-coup laws are solidified and the tutelary regime is legitimized through these two notions. If it is really wanted to clear out the pro-coup laws from the system, the preamble must be handled and taken out in the first place.
So why did the CHP want to nullify the committee at the first phase even though it was already foreseeable that it would inevitably come to a dead end? This only has the one political meaning that the AK Party estimated that the committee would dissolve after six months without making much progress, and the ruling party would have the legitimacy to present a new constitution draft to the public. In that scenario, the draft penned and advocated by the AK Party would enjoy a high possibility of public approval. Consequently, the CHP forced the AK Party to create its own alternative by ending the process at the very beginning. The CHP points to the presidential system as the cause of it leaving the committee and declares this as a red line with a target to drive the AK Party into a corner. However, several weeks ago, CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said they were ready to discuss a presidential system.
Apparently, the CHP tries to mislead and isolate the inner circles of the ruling power, which are already in a tight spot on the outside. If the AK Party combines a presidential system that possesses a balancing and supervision system with an emancipatory and decentralized constitution, the CHP will be the losing party again. But the AK Party is likely to lose if it insists on a presidential system at all costs, which is what the CHP expects.