Turkish president offers rewrite of internal service law
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
President Gül. AA Photo.Article 35 of the Turkish Armed Forces’ internal service law – which is often criticized because it has been used as the basis for military coups – should be rewritten,” Turkish President Abdullah Gül said yesterday.
The article has been interpreted wrongly in Turkish history, and still needs clarification, Gül said.
“Laws need to be clear. [Article 35] should be rewritten from scratch,” Gül was quoted as saying by Turkish papers.
Article 35 of the internal service law reads: “The duty of the Turkish Armed Forces is to watch over and protect the Turkish homeland and the Turkish Republic as designated by the Constitution.”
The Turkish army staged coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980 on the basis of Article 35, arguing that civilian authorities were failing to preserve constitutional principles.
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) had proposed the abolishment of Article 35, to Parliament in July 2010. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) also proposed an amendment of the article in August 2011. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and other political parties have also expressed their support for rewriting Article 35.