Turkish PM: Consensus not a must for charter
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
‘Our main problem is to make a new constitution, we will not be the party who leaves the negotiating table,’ says PM Erdoğan. DAILY NEWS photoThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will seek a compromise with one of two opposition parties to pass a new national constitution if efforts to hammer out a consensus between all four parties in Parliament fail, Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdoğan declared yesterday.
“We hope that no one will create trouble in the constitution-making process through artificial obstacles. We are in favor of adopting [the new constitution], together with all parties,” Erdoğan said in a speech at a conference on the new constitution. “But if other parties create obstacles, we will look for a single party or [two] parties that we can work together with, on the basis of common denominators. Our main problem is to make a new constitution. We will not be the party who leaves the negotiating table,” he added.
The Prime Minister categorically rejected opposition calls to amend the 26 constitutional articles that were adopted at the 2010 referendum. The opposition argues that the said amendments, which profoundly reshaped Turkey’s top judicial bodies and courts, have effectively placed the judicial system under government control. “We will never agree to such proposals because the amendments have received the approval of the people. But we welcome suggestions that do not contradict the core of those articles,” he said.
He stressed that the language of the new charter must be clear, recalling the political crisis that erupted during presidential elections in 2007 over differing interpretations of a constitutional provision on the parliamentary quorum required to hold a vote to elect the President.
Speaking at the same symposium, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek voiced veiled objections to demands to introduce Kurdish as a second official language. “Not every living language is an official language,” he said.