The head of Parliament’s Constitutional Commission, former Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, on Thursday called on all political parties to prepare their own draft constitutions so they can contribute to the discussions concerning a new constitution for Turkey.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Bozdağ said the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Tuesday introduced its own 100-article proposal for a revised national charter, a goal championed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
"By preparing a new draft constitution, the MHP made clear what kind of constitution it wants and presented it to the public," said Bozdağ.
"Other political parties preparing and promoting new draft constitutions will contribute to the process to draw up a new constitution. Crowning the centennial of the Republic of Turkey in 2023 with a new constitution will further strengthen Turkey."
In February, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged all political parties to take part in drafting a new constitution, with MHP's leader voicing his agreement.
The president’s proposal came four years after the 2017 constitutional referendum asked voters to decide on an 18-article bill to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system, among other changes. The amendments to the constitution were jointly introduced by the AK Party and the MHP. Erdoğan was elected president under the new system in 2018.
Erdoğan wants Turkey to have a civilian-drafted constitution by 2023, coinciding with the centenary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey.
The AK Party has 289 seats in the 600-seat Parliament, while the MHP has 48, adding up to 337, but this falls short of the 360-vote supermajority needed to pass a new constitution.
Even if all 600 deputies in Parliament say "yes" to the proposal, a national referendum will be held to assess the will of the people, Erdoğan has stated.
Bozdağ also called for a new conciliation committee to work on the parties' various proposals for a new charter.
Such a committee will "make a great contribution to the discussion over the concrete drafts and to maintaining healthy debate," he said.
Bozdağ said that Turkey's current Constitution is a coup-era artifact, drawn up by an advisory council selected by generals who carried out the Sept. 12, 1980 coup.
Since 1982, the current Constitution, drafted following the military coup, has seen a number of amendments.
The bloody 1980 coup, which led to the detention of hundreds of thousands of people along with mass trials, torture and executions, still stands as a black stain in Turkish political history.
"Turkey's current Constitution is not a kind of social contract," he explained.
"If the new constitution is prepared with contributions by the people and by the representatives elected by the nation in a democratic environment where everyone and every sector feels free, and if the nation ratifies it in a popular vote, then the constitution will become the contract of the nation."
Turkey's current Constitution is not based on human rights and does not adequately protect fundamental rights and freedoms, said Bozdağ.
"It is not possible to make a constitution based on human rights by changing the current Constitution. It is also not possible to establish a more secure constitutional order for fundamental rights and freedoms by changing the current Constitution," he said.
"As a matter of fact, this has not been possible with 19 changes that have been made so far. For this reason, Turkey should start over with a new constitution," he added, speaking of the amendments made to the current Constitution so far.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.