AKP seeks opposition’s backing for charter changes

AKP seeks opposition’s backing for charter changes

AKP seeks opposition’s backing for charter changes

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has held meetings with the representatives of the opposition parties at the parliament to demand their support for the constitutional amendments on the use of headscarf and the protection of family.

A delegation from the AKP under the leadership of Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ visited the opposition parties on Nov. 2 and discussed the content of the changes, although they did not introduce a document specifying the content.

Bozdağ and the AKP officials met the senior officials of the three opposition parties, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the İYİ (Good) Party and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as well as the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Great Union Party (BBP), which have already announced their support to the changes.

“In our meetings, we have informed on which constitutional articles we will make amendments. We have discussed in general terms and demanded their support in the preparation process of the changes,” Bozdağ told reporters. He also underlined that the charter changes bill will be submitted to the parliament after the parties will make their contributions.

The deputy parliamentary group leader of the CHP, Engin Altay, said his party does not think that issues concerning fundamental rights should not be taken to a referendum. “And we don’t think to amend the constitution at a time when there are just seven months to go to polls right,” he stated. Altay said he told Bozdağ that the CHP will not take part in this effort by the ruling party.

The İYİ Party’s parliamentary group leader, İsmail Tatlıoğlu, did not give detail but stated that the party will make its decision on the matter after the internal consultations under the leadership of the party’s chairwoman, Meral Akşener.

Meral Danış Beştaş, co-deputy parliamentary leader of the HDP, also said her party will discuss the matter with the relevant bodies before replying to the AKP. She recalled that the HDP does rule out a referendum on issues concerning fundamental rights, stressing, “I don’t talk about specifically on this proposal, but how can we ask about the freedom to dress to the people? This is already an indispensable right.”
The AKP and its supporters, MHP and BBP do not have enough majority to take the changes to a referendum. They need at least 24 additional votes.

The amendments are expected to concern articles 24 and 41, on freedom of religion and conscience and protection of the family and the children’s rights, respectively. A change in Article 24 will provide new guarantees to female public servants and private sector workers that they can’t be restricted by any sort of dress code. AKP officials say this amendment will guarantee female workers the freedom to dress, that is leaving it up to them whether they want to cover themselves.

Politics, Turkey, Türkiye,