Equal use of private communication secured under new charter

Equal use of private communication secured under new charter

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission has agreed on a clause in an article covering freedom of the press that assures political parties equal access to private mass communication media, such as radio, television and the Internet.

“For society’s right to information and for public opinion to be formed freely, persons and political parties have the right to benefit from mass communication and publication media that are outside the press, in accordance with equity and justice. Its methods and principals are regulated by law,” read the clause drafted during a meeting Aug. 15.

This proposal had been originally introduced by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), but was opposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The clause was eventually drafted Aug. 15 after receiving the support of the BDP.

The AKP’s objection stems from the fact that newly drafted clause covers private media, whereas the AKP alternatively proposes keeping it the same as the current Constitution’s Article 31, which grants equitable and just use of mass communication media that are “in the hands of public corporate bodies.”

Health services to be provided free of charge

The commission has also added a new clause to the article on health services that also covers the right to live in a healthy environment. Accordingly, the article read “The state provides basic health services free of charge.”

The addition was placed after the phrase that already read “Nobody can be denied basic health services,” in the article.