AKP favors preserving laicism by constitution: Spokesperson
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is in favor of preserving the principle of laicism in the constitution, the spokesperson of the party said on Sept. 13.
“As the AK Party, we do not want laicism to be excluded from the constitution in any way. We think that the principle of laicism should be protected in the constitution. In no way do we look favorably on any other approach to this,” Ömer Çelik told reporters at a press conference.
“Turkey’s experience in this matter, the ideal of the Republic, is the emergence of women into the public sphere. Girls, who just wanted to study, were turned away from school gates in the name of laicism,” Çelik said, referring to earlier practices in which the students wearing headscarves were not allowed into the universities.
The AKP has maintained the principle of laicism from the first moment it took office, the spokesperson emphasized.
The main problem here is that Turkey’s democracy is damaged by removing laicism from its context and turning it into another ideology under the principle of laicism, he added.
Çelik said his party is not of the same opinion as that of former AKP lawmaker Resul Tosun who suggested that laicism must be excluded from the constitution.
Çelik also rejected remarks by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy group chair Engin Özkoç, who criticized the statement of Tosun.
“We will fight to the end those who try to uproot the principle of secularism from our Republic,” Özkoç tweeted earlier.