Çiçek: New charter should not become an April Fools' joke

Çiçek: New charter should not become an April Fools' joke

Çiçek: New charter should not become an April Fools joke

Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek is seen speaking at the Constitution Platform Citizens’ meeting in Bursa yesterday. The meeting enjoyed high attendance from citizens. AA photo

Politicians must not turn the critical charter-drafting process into an “April Fools’ joke,” Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek said yesterday, adding that it was the duty of lawmakers to meet citizens’ demands for an improved constitution.

“If we fail, it is not the citizens’ fault, but the lack of skill on the part of the political institution,” he said yesterday at the Constitution Platform Citizens’ Meeting in Ankara.

“A new constitution does not mean a Turkey with no problems,” said Çiçek. “Some of our problems are not caused by the Constitution, but rather because of our method of making politics, a lack of preparations or effort, and our lack of agreement or compromise. But the rest is caused by the Constitution and by making a new one, our political institution will be more productive in solving problems,” he said.
“We have been forced to change the Constitution 17 times in the past 30 years. We need to understand how much our country has lost because of the constitutional crises that have erupted every 13 or 14 months. I don’t have to explain that we need a new constitution,” he said.

Çiçek also said continual fights and arguments in Parliament resulted in citizens doubting whether lawmakers would be able to produce a new charter. As such, Çiçek asked deputies to control their anger since the process “requires an environment that will allow for a healthy dialogue.”

The parliamentary speaker also said the international community was watching to see how Turkey would act during this period and that a successful outcome would benefit Turkey’s global reputation.