Turkish PM reiterates AKP’s determinacy for the new charter
AA photoPrime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has cited drafting of a new constitution as the most important pledge of their government to the Turkish people, as his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) having already moved to collect signatures for a constitutional amendment that would strip parliament members of immunity from prosecution and collectively review hundreds of outstanding dossiers.
“As we have openly stated during election rallies, the most important promise we have given to our nation is a new constitution. Our government’s primary goal is preparing a libertarian, democratic and just constitution which befits Turkey and our nation,” Davutoğlu said on April 8, while delivering a speech at a meeting in Istanbul to publicize reforms.
“We stand behind our promise we gave to our nation. Inshallah [God willing], we will make a civilian national constitution which everybody can call their own,” Davutoğlu said.
A commission set at the AKP has already begun preparations for the new constitution, with plans to accomplish the draft within few months so that “the public will have enough time to discuss its content.”
“We are exerting maximum efforts to provide a text that protects human dignity, expands human rights and freedoms, defines the people instead of the state, reinforces the principle of separation of powers and implements powers and responsibilities in the best way,” he said.
‘43 out of 72 criteria for visa-free EU travel have been met’
Recently, the government has also secured a controversial deal with the EU to stem the flow of refugees from Turkey to Greece in return for granting visa-free travel to Turkish citizens. However, the EU has given the Turkish government 72 requirements to complete by May 4 in order to secure the visa-free travel.
“We have completed 43 out of 72 requirements. As we have promised, right to visa-free travel to Europe will be announced in June,” he said.
Process for removing immunities to begin soon
On April 7, the AKP parliamentary group began collecting the signatures required for proposing the constitutional amendment to remove parliamentarians of their immunities, which was first made public by Davutoğlu on March 17.
‘70 pct of promises for the first 3 months fulfilled’
Prime Minister Davutoğlu has also claimed his government has fulfilled all its snap-election campaign promises. “As of today, we have fulfilled all our promises: 70 percent of the promises given for the first three months [of AKP rule] have been met and 15 percent for first six months. Another 15 percent are ready for submission to the parliament,” he said.
Some reforms pledged for this current period had to be postponed as the government had to prioritize legal arrangements due to ongoing talks with the EU, he added.
“We have given the word. We will inshallah [God willing] announce in June that the Turkish citizens will be able to go to Europe without visas.
“We believe that 2016 will be a fruitful year. Those who anticipate for chaos and crisis will be disappointed,” he said.