TÜS?AD proposes amending unchangeable articles in draft constitution

TODAY’S ZAMAN, ?STANBUL
 
TÜS?AD President Ümit Boyner
The Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜS?AD) has in a draft constitution it prepared suggested that the unchangeable articles of the Turkish Constitution be amended.
The association shared the details of the draft document with the public at a press conference it called on Tuesday. The first three articles of the Constitution define Turkey as a republic that is democratic, secular and a social state governed by the rule of law. The articles also define Turkish as the official language in Turkey and Ankara as its capital. The first three articles are irrevocable, and amendments to them cannot even be suggested.
According to the TÜS?AD proposal, the article defining Turkey as a republic will still be retained, but the remaining two articles can be changed.
Professor Turgut Tarhanl?, who is among a group of academics who drafted the TÜS?AD proposal, delivered a speech during the press conference. “There was only one unchangeable article in the Turkish Constitution until 1961. That article concerned the form of the state. We believe that an unchangeable article regarding the form of the state can be kept in the Constitution. Except for an article on the form of the state, there should be no unchangeable article in the Constitution,” he stated.
This is not the first time TÜS?AD has called for a new civilian and democratic constitution. It first prepared a draft to this effect in 1992 that called on the government of the time to change the unchangeable articles of the Constitution.
TÜS?AD President Ümit Boyner also delivered a speech at the press conference in which she stressed that the Turkish nation expects a new constitution to dominate the agendas of political parties after the June 12 parliamentary elections. “We expect the new constitution to turn all factors that currently divide Turkey into factors that strengthen the unity in Turkey. For us, we need to not lose the excitement of preparing a new constitution. We want the preparation of a new constitution to be Turkey’s prime concern after the elections,” she said.
The TÜS?AD draft constitution also calls for removal from the Constitution of all expressions that evoke racism or nationalism, the elimination of the use of the word “Turkishness” when defining citizenship, the removal of the religion box from IDs and putting the General Staff under the control of the Ministry of Defense.
The document also said the preparation of a new constitution should be seen as an opportunity to solve the years-old ban on the headscarf in the public sphere.


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