Gov’t, opposition to begin work on small-scale charter changes

Gov’t, opposition to begin work on small-scale charter changes

Gov’t, opposition to begin work on small-scale charter changes

AFP photo

Turkey’s ruling and opposition parties have agreed to begin work on a small-scale constitutional change by appointing each one a representative to decide the scope of the amendment, in a sign of continued political dialogue in the capital following the July 15 failed coup attempt. 

Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım paid visits to Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), and Devlet Bahçeli, head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), on Aug 1, as part of the continuation of unity in the aftermath of July 15 coup attempt by the Fethullah Gülen organization. 

Yıldırım met with Kılıçdaroğlu at the CHP’s headquarters in his first visit to the social democrat party and with Bahçeli in parliament. Yıldırım’s tour of political parties did not include the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). 

“In a bid to meet urgent needs, parties have already agreed to work on a small-scale constitutional change. I have discussed this issue with Mr. Chairman [Kılıçdaroğlu]. I will talk about it with MHP [head Bahçeli] as well. All three parties will delegate one official to work on the scope of it and decide how many articles it will contain and then submit their reports to the leaders,” Yıldırım told reporters after his meeting with Kılıçdaroğlu. 

After the meeting with Bahçeli, Yıldırım underlined that the Gülenist organization was much deeper and larger than those who were involved in staging the coup and therefore efforts to clear the state of its members should continue. “The potential of this organization is much wider,” he stressed.

“Constitutional changes are part of this effort,” Yıldırım said, informing that the process had already begun between three parties. 

The need to make some limited changes in the constitution appeared during a meeting under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and with the participation of the three party leaders last week. The changes will likely include restructuring the supreme judicial boards, including the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), in order to further cleanse the judicial system of the members of Gülen organization. 

Thousands of judges and prosecutors have already been dismissed over links to the Gülenist organization, which was accused of orchestrating the July 15 failed coup attempt.  

‘An indication of our sincerity’  

Yıldırım’s visit to party leaders was also regarded as an additional indication of the normalization of Turkish politics, according to an AKP official. “This visit is the indication of the commitment, sincerity and good will for the continuation of this positive climate in politics,” Numan Kurtulmuş, deputy prime minister and government spokesperson, told reporters on Aug. 1. 

Bahçeli: Erdoğan’s withdrawal of cases contributive 

On a question about Erdoğan’s decision to withdraw the insult cases opened against politicians, Bahçeli said the move “would contribute to the normalization of politics” after the July 15 coup attempt.