Venice Commission ready to assist Turkey on new constitution
by Ali Ünal
ANKARAAug 09, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Ali Ünal
Aug 09, 2014 12:00 am
Turkey's historic presidential election will take place this Sunday and for the first time in the Republic of Turkey the president will be directly elected by the people. The latest polls suggest that the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) presidential candidate and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be elected in the first round of the election.
After the presidential election, debate on the new constitution is expected to be back on Turkey's agenda. Erdoğan said earlier that a new constitution will be one of his priorities. Venice Commission President Gianni Buquicchio exclusively told Daily Sabah that "the Venice Commission is a body of constitutional experts from 60 countries. It was involved in constitutional reforms in many European and some non-European countries. By working with the Venice Commission Turkey gets access to the experience and knowledge of the Venice Commission members. In constitutional matters as elsewhere it is important to learn from experience made in other countries. Moreover, as a Council of Europe body, the Venice Commission would ensure that the text is in full compliance with European standards."
Whereas the nature of Turkey's new constitution attracts attention. As president of the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters, Buquicchio said that the Venice Commission does not impose specific models. "Each country is different and constitutions have to reflect the situation in the country and the consensus at the national level. Turkey can and should make its own choices within the limits of European standards. It is my understanding that the intention is to prepare a more democratic constitution that better protects individual rights. The current Constitution, prepared during a period of military rule, puts the state at the center and aims to protect the state from its citizens. In the future, the individual and the protection of his or her rights should be the focus of the Constitution," Buquicchio told Daily Sabah.