Commission to hold extra session
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe ongoing dispute among deputies from multiple political parties represented in Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission over the principle of secularity is escalating. As no compromise could be reached on the drafting of the article covering freedom of religion and conscience, they have decided to hold a special session on the issue.Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission continued discussions on the article covering the protection of freedom of conscience and religion during their Sept. 10 meeting.
At the very end of the meeting and after heated debates, it was decided to postpone drafting the article until all debates on the constitutional chapter covering rights and freedoms were finalized and that there would be a special session on the issue with the participation of experts. The only matter on which deputies from all four parties represented in the commission – the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) – agreed upon during the Sept. 10 meeting was “constitutional protection for atheists.”
This agreement was possible as AKP and MHP deputies were softer in their approach when the CHP and BDP asked to “secure the rights of those who do not believe in any religion.”