Put politics aside for charter, says Speaker

Put politics aside for charter, says Speaker

Serkan Demirtaş ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Narrowing the constitution-making process with the red lines of political parties is something both politicians and media should avoid for the health of the ongoing efforts, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek said yesterday.

“Using language reflecting common sense will help the establishment of an environment that would contribute to the constitution-making process. We disapprove of making commentaries based on the alleged red lines of political parties,” Çiçek told Ankara bureau chiefs of newspapers yesterday.

A commission has been working since early October to renew the country’s constitution with the aim of concluding the entire process composed of four phases by the end of 2012. In the first and ongoing phase, 12 members from the four parties in Parliament have begun to collect opinions and contributions from academia, civil society, media, trade unions and other groups representing different segments of society.

Çiçek praised the commission members’ work in harmony so far and asked the media to fully support the process and encourage people to contribute to the process. “We are making the new constitution, we are not writing it. If we were to write it, we would remain behind closed doors and draft it without consulting anyone. What we want is to have broad participation of our people,” he said.

“I want to reassure that every opinion dispatched to us will be seriously processed and valued,” he said, adding that apart from civil society organizations, 3,777 persons filed their expectations for the new charter. “In addition,” Çiçek said, “starting from Monday [Dec. 26], we will hold meetings in different cities in Anatolia to reach out to all groups in the country.”

Underlining the need of popular support for the process, the Parliament speaker asked the media to better highlight the works of the commission. “Conveying conciliatory messages rather than provocative ones obviously will be much more contributive. We all must be contributive in this process,” he said.

Turkey should be successful this time in renewing its charter, Çiçek said. “If we cannot do it then we will all continue to complain about this constitution for another 30 years. We should now show that we can do it. But there is no need to be pessimistic.”