PM to meet opposition on mini constitution changes

PM to meet opposition on mini constitution changes

PM to meet opposition on mini constitution changes Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said he could separately meet with the leaders of two opposition parties next week to finalize weeks-long work on a small-scale constitutional amendment package. 

“The works carried out for the small-scale constitutional amendments have been completed. Now the work is devolved to the leaders of the political parties. In the coming days I will schedule meetings with the leaders of the [main opposition Republican People’s Party] CHP and the [Nationalist Movement Party] MHP to negotiate the subject,” Yıldırım told reporters Oct. 7. 

“We have not contacted the leaders yet but we have this thought,” he said, adding that the dates of possible meetings had yet to be specified.

After the failed coup attempt on July 15, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the CHP and the MHP – excluding the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) – agreed to introduce limited changes to some articles of the constitution focusing on the judicial system. The motive behind this move was to clear the judiciary of Gülenists who are widely thought to have infiltrated legal institutions over the past three decades. 

The parties agreed on seven articles but failed to complete drafting one on the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), a key legal institution dealing with dismissals and promotions of judges and prosecutors. 
In the aftermath of July 15, 3,456 judges and prosecutors were dismissed on the grounds that they took part in the failed coup attempt. 

‘CHP ignoring July 15 sufferers’

Meanwhile, Yıldırım also criticized CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for “ignoring the sufferings of July 15,” the night of the coup attempt and prioritizing the victims of the post-coup process. 

“Unfortunately, the leader of the main opposition party has ignored July 15 and focused on the sufferings [of the post-coup process]. It is as if people were not victimized on July 15, as if there were no martyrs or veterans. Is the suffering of the people more important than the suffering of the putschists?” he said. 

Referring to opposition criticism about the ongoing investigations, Yıldırım stressed that complaints were being investigated “with the utmost importance” but claimed that the Gülen movement is to blame for any misdirection.

Commission holds debut meeting

A commission that was approved by the Turkish parliament to investigate the failed coup attempt of July 15, held its debut meeting on Oct.7. 

The commission is made up of deputies from all four of Turkey’s political parties with seats in parliament. 

Nine lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), four lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), one lawmaker from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and one lawmaker from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) formed the commission.   

The selected parliamentarians were announced in the Official Gazette on Oct. 7.

AKP lawmaker Reşat Petek was selected as the chair of the commission, while AKP lawmaker Selçuk Özdağ was selected as the deputy chair, according to the decision which was published in the Official Gazette. 

AKP lawmaker Zekeriya Birkan, AKP lawmaker Emine Nur Günay, CHP lawmaker Zeynel Emre, CHP lawmaker Aykut Erdoğdu, AKP lawmaker Ravza Kavakçı Kan, CHP lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu, CHP lawmaker Aytun Çıray, AKP lawmaker Hüseyin Kocabıyık, AKP lawmaker Burhanettin Uysal, MHP lawmaker Mehmet Erdoğan and HDP lawmaker Mithat Sancar were selected as the other members of the commission.

The commission will have the authority to question suspects, including those who are currently under detention, just as public prosecutors are able to do.