The decision was reached to include a provision for atheists in an article on religious freedom and liberty of conscious.
During the commission meeting yesterday, Speaker of the Assembly Cemil Çiçek complained that the process of drafting the new constitution is taking too long. The debate surrounding the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, choosing to leave the table was also discussed.
Members stated, "Immunity should not affect efforts to draft a new constitution. All parties should remain at the table until the end." The sole BDP member to attend the meeting, Altan Tan stated, "I believe everyone should remain at the table, which is where all issues should be dealt with."
The AK Party eased their stance regarding their opposition to the inclusion of a provision on the freedom of 'non-belief,' a proposal which had been brought up at previous meeting.
As a result, all party members present reached a consensus on including a provision intended to protect the nation's atheists, stating, "Everyone has the right to freedom in their religious beliefs and liberty of conscience. This freedom encompasses religious belief, non-belief as well as changing one's faith."
During the meeting, the decision was also reached to establish a sub-commission in order to expedite efforts on establishing Turkey's new constitution.
This is a translation of an article originally written by Zübeyde Yalçın.
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