TÜS?AD’s proposed constitution receives criticism from CHP



CHP leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu
CHP leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu
A draft constitution recently proposed by the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜS?AD) has been welcomed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), while it drew criticism from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for seeking to amend the unchangeable articles of the Turkish Constitution.
TÜS?AD, one of Turkey’s most influential business clubs, revealed the details of the draft document to the public at a press conference it called on Tuesday. One major proposal was that the article defining Turkey as a republic will be retained but that the remaining two articles can be changed. 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 current Constitution.
AK Party parliamentary group deputy chairman Bekir Bozda? said his party welcomed the proposals of the association as it signals a change in TÜS?AD’s attitude towards “change.” Noting that they are pleased to see that the association made its proposals public before the elections, Bozda? recalled a previous draft constitution proposed by TÜS?AD in 1992. “TÜS?AD announced a draft constitution in 1992, which took rights and freedoms as a base. But, in the years that followed it backpedaled and was involved in attitudes that run contrary to their earlier proposals. It is an important development that TÜS?AD has once again announced a proposal which takes rights and freedoms as a base,” he said.
CHP leader Kemal K?l?çdaro?lu, however, opposed TÜS?AD’s proposal to amend the unchangeable articles of the Constitution. Speaking to reporters yesterday, K?l?çdaro?lu said his party does not think unchangeable articles may be changed. “We do not find this correct,” he said. Professor Turgut Tarhanl?, one of a group of academics who drafted the TÜS?AD proposal, delivered a speech during the press conference during which the association announced its draft. “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.
The existing Constitution was drafted following martial law in 1982 after a bloody coup d’état two years earlier in 1980. The document is often the focus of harsh criticism as it fails to provide for broader rights and freedoms. Commenting on K?l?çdaro?lu’s criticism, Bozda? said this attitude implies setting conditions for the new constitution, which would prevent consensus on it. “We see setting conditions for the new constitution before it is drafted as bringing impositions. The new constitution will be prepared through consensus. The parties should voice their opinions during negotiations on the new constitution, not now. We just want to determine basic principles for the new constitution. We will discuss concrete proposals after the elections in the new Parliament,” he told Today’s Zaman. The party that has welcomed TÜS?AD’s proposals the most is the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) because its proposals overlap with those of TÜS?AD. The TÜS?AD draft constitution calls for the removal from the Constitution of all expressions that evoke racism or nationalism and the elimination of the use of the word “Turkishness” when defining citizenship. The BDP has also been calling for a change to the unchangeable articles.

TÜS?AD 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. The association gave the green light for a headscarf-wearing deputy in Parliament, which has not been possible so far. Turkey has a bitter memory of a headscarf-wearing deputy. Merve Kavakç? was elected to Parliament on April 18, 1999 and represented the now-defunct Virtue Party (FP). However, when she entered with her headscarf, she faced strong opposition from deputies from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and was sent out of Parliament.

Related Articles

How Iran uses a compulsory hijab law to control its citizens – and why they are protesting


Protests against Iran’s mandatory hijab law – which requires all women to wear it in public – have sprung up across Iran in the first few weeks of 2018

El Che, los minerales del Congo y los diferentes porqués


Andrea Gago Menor Revista Pueblos “¿Y qué pasa en África? África, donde ap enas hace un par de años fue

Egyptians vote in constitutional referendum


First ballot since military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi likely to spawn presidential bid of General al-Sisi. Egyptians are flocking to

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment