New charter to secure broadcast in Kurdish

New charter to secure broadcast in Kurdish

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
New charter to secure broadcast in Kurdish

Turkish Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commision is continuing to rewrite the Constitution with the initial success of concluding more than 60 articles.

The term “right to not give birth” will enter the rationale of the draft Constitution, while broadcasting in Kurdish will be regulated by law, Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission decided in a meeting Aug. 14.

During the meeting chaired by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Chair Faruk Bal, the commission debated the articles regulating the freedom of religion and conscience, the right to health, the independence and impartiality of courts and freedom of the press.

But the most critical articles of the Constitution are set to be debated next week on Aug. 21, including the right and freedom to education and training, citizenship, the right to use one’s mother tongue, the first three irrevocable articles of the Constitution and the fourth one marking them irrevocable.
The commission will handle the first four articles for the very first time since its inception.

Regulation by laws

The commission agreed on regulating broadcasts in Kurdish by law under the section of freedom of press. A previous demand by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which had raised eyebrows among members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP, was reformulated, with the article now reading, “Broadcasting in languages other than Turkish is regulated by law.”

In the same article, the BDP voiced discontent over restrictions imposed on press in the name of national security. The AKP and the MHP reiterated their demand on restrictions on the press over public order, while insisting on restrictions imposed based on general ethical concerns.

In the article governing the right to health, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the BDP demanded that the Constitution include the “right to not give birth” while noting the government’s insistence on married couples having a minimum of three children and their attempt to ban abortion. The proposal was opposed by the AKP and the MHP.

Bal objected to the inclusion of the right not to give birth, saying: “It is not right for the subjects of giving birth, not giving birth to enter the Constitution. This is not necessary.” Bal’s argument was supported by the AKP.

Ultimately, the commission agreed that “the right to fertility includes the right not to give birth” should enter the Constitution as a part of the rationale, instead of within the article.