Morality causes row in charter commisson
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsA crisis erupted in the Parliament Constitution Conciliation Commission when the political parties clashed over issues of “national security, public order and public morality.” Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) reacted fiercely when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) wanted to restrict the articles on “privacy, immunity of residence and freedom of communication” and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) expressed a desire to restrict freedoms based on the concepts of “national security, public order and public morality.”
An agreement was unable to be reached and the crisis was not overcome despite debates on the issues at hand. Three articles were suspended, to be tackled at the end of the chapter. The articles on “freedom of thought and faith, the right to education and freedom of expression,” which also had the potential of triggering a crisis, were proponed as well without being debated.
A general consensus was reached on the article of “protection of data on personal information” at the commission meeting chaired by Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek. The commission could not agree on articles about “secrecy and protection of private life and family life, immunity of residence and freedom of communication.” The clauses of “national security, public order and public morality” that the AKP and the MHP demanded insistently were opposed by the CHP and the BDP.
While the BDP argued that these three concepts should never be included in the constitution the CHP defended that “public morality” should never be included while “national security and public order” should be defined clearly before any inclusion.
Articles on “freedom of thought and faith, the right to education and freedom of expression,” which were critical in regards to “secularism” and “instruction in mother tongue,” were postponed without any debate. The commission skipped these three articles and began drafting articles on “freedom of settlement,” “freedom of travel,” “freedom of science and arts and media,” “the right to property” and “the right to employment.”