New charter possible soon if consensus reached: Erdoğan
Turkey may embrace its first civilian constitution until the end of this legislative year should a consensus between all political parties agree on the draft, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, calling on the opposition alliance to work and prepare their own version of the charter.
“If we can harmonize our draft with the drafts of other parties, we can finalize this [new constitution] in parliament by the end of this year. To do this, other parties must first make their constitutional proposals public,” Erdoğan told his Justice and Development Party (AKP) group on Oct 6. Turkey’s legislative year has just begun and is planned to end on July 1, 2022.
Erdoğan’s first speech to his parliamentary group meeting after the launch of the legislative year has focused on the domestic politics and the government-led alliance’s preparations for the new constitution.
The AKP and its main ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), are genuine in their efforts to pass the country’s brand new civilian constitution, Erdoğan said, informing that they are about to conclude their in-house drafting of the blueprint.
“We expect that other political parties in parliament share their own work with the public as soon as possible,” he said.
In case the government and the opposition fail to compromise over the new constitution, they will be voted by the people in the 2023 elections accordingly, Erdoğan stated, adding they will fully respect the decision given by the people in the polls. “Undoubtedly, the main determinant here is how different views on the administrative system of our country can be brought together,” he stated.
Recalling that the Turkish people voted in favor of the executive-presidential system in 2017 and that it came into force in mid-2018, Erdoğan underlined that they will continue with this system after the elections.
A new path for post-2023
“We have seen how critical the implementation of this system and its advantages was during the pandemic,” he said, saying even many developed countries have failed to respond to the social, health and economic impacts of the coronavirus.
“Aren’t there deficiencies, shortcomings and aspects that need to be corrected? Yes, of course. We are aware of all of them and we have substantial works about them. Many of them are secondary issues that can be fixed by simple touches and small revisions,” Erdoğan stressed.
“These problems will eventually be resolved if the constitutional [amendment] process can be finalized,” added the president, vowing that the People Alliance will work to fix them if efforts to re-write the constitution fails.
“In line with our goal of a great and strong Turkey for the post-2023 period, we promise our nation a new path that will enable easier and faster progress regardless of the circumstances and conditions. As Turkey’s most revolutionary, most innovative, most reformist and most visionary party, we will carry our country first to 2023 and then to 2053, in the direction of this roadmap, with the help of God and the support of our nation,” Erdoğan stated.
Erdoğan slams Kılıçdaroğlu, Akşener
Erdoğan also slammed his two major opposition rivals, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Meral Akşener, the leaders of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the İYİ (Good) Party respectively, which make up the Nation Alliance.
Erdoğan argued that Kılıçdaroğlu has proposed to amend the first four articles of the constitution that underlines the basic parameters of the Republic of Turkey in a bid to please the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
“I want to ask whether this is Kılıçdaroğlu’s personal view or the CHP’s institutional position?” Erdoğan asked, criticizing the CHP leader for doing politics under the HDP’s tutelage.
Recalling that Akşener stated that she will run for prime minister and not for president, Erdoğan stressed that the İYİ Party leader is running for an imaginary post after her potential candidacy for presidency was vetoed by the HDP.