Efforts for new charter fail: Parliamentary Speaker Çiçek

Efforts for new charter fail: Parliamentary Speaker Çiçek

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Efforts for new charter fail: Parliamentary Speaker Çiçek

Parliamentary Speaker Çiçek is set to end efforts for a new charter. DAILY NEWS photo

The Turkish Parliament’s charter panel appears to be living on borrowed time amid rumors that its work could be soon terminated after failing to draft a new Constitution despite the passage of two years.

Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek will pen a letter to the leaders of Parliament’s parties, telling them that the Constitution Conciliation Commission has been unable to draft a new Constitution.

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Mehmet Ali Şahin announced Çiçek’s decision to reporters at the end of a meeting yesterday. “I am not hopeful with the point we have arrived at. I will write letters to all four political party leaders in which I will summarize the heretofore work of the commission in the form of a report,” Çiçek was quoted as saying at the meeting.

Çiçek said he would make his final decision concerning the fate of the commission according to the responses he receives while effectively threatening to postpone the panel’s work until he receives the answers.

However, representatives of all three opposition parties, Atilla Kart of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Faruk Bal of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Bengi Yıldız of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), objected to Çiçek, saying that according to a document signed by all four political parties that regulates the working principles of the commission, Çiçek does not have the authority to end the work by his own initiative.

Accordingly, the representatives of the three opposition parties have decided to gather today in a show of their refusal to recognize Çiçek’s intended decision. 

“Here, it is obvious that the AKP group and the parliamentary speaker have jointly made a decision to end the commission’s work upon the order of the prime minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan]. This is being understood,” Kart told the Hürriyet Daily News, while Bal declared that he would attend today’s meeting of the commission.

For his part, Yıldız voiced his resentment over Çiçek’s approach, saying: “The parliamentary speaker has no such authority. It is neither elegant, nor moral.”

In order for the commission to be dissolved, either one of the parties has to officially declare that it will no longer attend the commission’s work, or one of the parties must miss meetings on three occasions without offering any justification.