Turkey must catch charter fever: Boyner

Turkey must catch charter fever: Boyner

Turkey must catch charter fever: Boyner

The top priority should be the new constitution’s preparation, says Boyner. DHA photo

The head of Turkey’s biggest business organization has urged the country to “catch reform fever” to maintain its position as a role model for the region by prioritizing the drafting of a new charter.

“We should continue our efforts to strengthen our democracy and carry our judicial system to the highest standards,” Turkish Industry & Business Association head Ümit Boyner said yesterday at the group’s general assembly while emphasizing the need for a new constitution.

“The current situation stands in front of us in its most concrete form. It is the shaken trust in justice and the weaknesses of Turkish legal order,” she said, adding that the country should “urgently and definitely catch reform fever.”

“Some advise me to not to say everything that comes to mind and to watch the way I speak so that I don’t cause trouble for [myself], but I believe that it is a real necessity to speak of these matters now,” Boyner said. 

Model charter for region

Boyner said Turkey had been presented as a model for the Arab Spring countries due to its economic performance and democratic system. The basic goal of the new constitution should be to define the relations between the citizen and the state by expanding freedom and legal guarantees, she added.

“The solution of the Kurdish problem, ending terror and having a new and libertarian constitution are not only domestic issues, they are also key to being a model country in the turbulent Middle East,” said Boyner. “The way to avoid the effects of a sectarian war, which has a high possibility of burning our southern neighbors, is to bring together each and every citizen regardless of their ethnic or religious roots.”

Boyner said the new constitution should be ready by the end of 2012. “There is a general consensus among nongovernmental organizations on the fundamentals of the new charter,” she said. “Also, there is a Conciliation Commission in Parliament and it has sub-commissions.”

Shock at Dink case

Boyner also slammed the Jan. 17 court ruling in the Hrant Dink murder case, saying the court’s decision had “shocked” the public. 

 “The decision of the court … regarding assassinated journalist Hrant Dink, who was a lover of this country and its people, shocked the public and hurt their feelings,” she said.

“Despite clear indications of a cover-up, the evidence of the murder and … the connections behind the case, it was not possible to find the real perpetrators of the murder,” said Boyner, adding that journalist Nedim Şener, who has highlighted the roles and responsibilities of a number of officials in the murder case, was still under arrest as aprt of the Ergenekon case. 

“If Turkey doesn’t to want to be crushed under the weight of the great projects of the future, it should succeed in becoming a state of justice first,” Boyner said.