ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Constitution Conciliation Commission which
is headed by Parliamentary Cemil Çiçek starts
to work after a 20-day hiatus. AA photo
In the ongoing process of drafting Turkey’s new constitution, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is seeking to add provisions that could become the basis for bans on sperm banks, abortion and Caesarian sections, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is taking steps to provide constitutional protection for atheists and conscientious objectors.
Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission took a break at the request of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) on July 10. After a 20-day hiatus, the commission resumed work on Aug. 1. Members representing the AKP, CHP, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) presented their proposals for articles in the section covering “Fundamental Rights and Liberties.” The parties will examine the proposed articles and try to make the texts appeal to common interests.
The ruling party wants “protection of the human race” to be covered in the new constitution, while the CHP
is seeking constitutional protection for atheists, according to each party’s respective proposals. “The state will take the necessary precautions for the healthy continuation of the human race, the development of children and youth, and the protection of their material and spiritual assets. Every child has the right to know his or her parents, and a parent has the right to maintain a relationship with his or her children,” reads the proposal drafted by the AKP. The CHP’s proposal includes clauses creating protection for both atheists and conscientious objectors. “The state will take the necessary precautions to settle [disputes] and maintain mutual respect and tolerance between believers and nonbelievers,” the proposal said.
“Homeland service is a right and duty for every citizen. How this service can be fulfilled, whether in the armed forces or in public service, or how this service will be found to have been served, will be governed by law,” the CHP’s proposal said. In its proposal, the AKP omitted a clause of Article 67 of the current Constitution that covers the right to vote, to be elected and to engage in political activity.