Gül underlines charter on April 23 festivities
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
President Gül posed with foreign children who are in Turkey for the celebrations.President Abdullah Gül said that Turkey should waste no more time about resolving its fundamental problems, and singled out the drawing up of a new democratic constitution as a priority, in a message he issued yesterday for the occasion of April 23, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day.
“Turkey will not give up its determination to tackle its problems with courage. It is important that we not allow protracted problems to hold the country’s future hostage and lead to more squandered years,” Gül said in the statement. “The most significant issue on our country’s agenda today is the making of a new libertarian constitution that will make Turkey a first-class democracy. I am confident that the parties represented in Parliament, all political actors and civic society groups can achieve this in a spirit of conciliation, through rational, prudent and constructive efforts.”
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for his part, referred to military interventions in the past, saying “Mistrust in the will of the nation amounts to mistrust in the country’s founding principles, its Republican ideals and the April 23 spirit.” The April 23 national holiday marks the inauguration of modern Turkey’s Parliament, which convened for the first time on April 23, 1920 under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s leadership, while the Liberation War was still under way. Atatürk later also dedicated the day to children.
Main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu announced yesterday he would attend all of the ceremonies associated with the holiday. Kılıçdaroğlu’s Republican People’s Party (CHP) had boycotted some high-level receptions in the past amid tensions with the government.