A platform for guiding efforts towards a new constitution, consisting of almost 250 civil society organizations – including the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD), the Turkish Youth and Education Service Foundation (TÜRGEV) and the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) – will convene with a meeting on Jan. 28 the ATO Congresium hall in Ankara.
Established under the title, "Turkish Constitution Platform" (Türkiye Anayasa Platformu), the platform defines itself as an entity for creating awareness and the development of proposals centered on the content of the new constitution.
In a joint statement given by platform members on Sunday, officials underlined that the current constitution fails to provide a roadmap for the new vision of Turkey, adding that Turkey is "involved in a process in which the rising demands and comprehensive proposals for the content of a new constitution have emerged."
Stating that the platform was established for the gathering of strong public demands and suggestions, and potentially turning them into a decisive voice for a new constitution, the statement said, "We believe that each and every one of the members of society has something to say about the new constitution. We are starting a journey towards the writing of a new constitution by discussing, sharing and reconciling together."
Supporting the "research conference" suggestion given by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Chairman Ayhan Oğan of the Civilian Solidarity Platform (SDP) – in which 498 civil society organizations are gathered – previously said that all sectors of society must be included in the work carried out for a new constitution, be it through face-to-face talks, phone conversations or television programs.
Speaking to Daily Sabah on Jan.4, Oğan said, "It is beneficial to act with methods that are available under the conditions here, by taking into consideration Turkey's history, culture, regional, social and societal structure."
Oğan chairs the institution that previously organized public meetings regarding a new constitution in 34 provinces between 2011 and 2013. He thinks that a research conference is necessary for the success of the constitution-making process.
Oğan said, "With this work, the public's opinion on these especially controversial issues – such as unchangeable articles, governance systems and presidential and semi-presidential systems – will also be determined."
"In order to write a new constitution in Turkey, it is necessary to pave the way for the public will and this should be manifested in politics. Unanimous agreement prevails in society regarding the need for a reformed constitution. Channels through which societal dynamics can influence politics are necessary."
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