Erdoğan: Türkiye aims to draft new, democratic Constitution

Erdoğan: Türkiye aims to draft new, democratic Constitution

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Türkiye needs to get rid of the Constitution that was drafted during the coup era and replace it with a more civilian, democratic one, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah.

“We want to proceed with a civilian, comprehensive and liberal constitution,” the president told reporters after an eight-hour cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara on Wednesday.

He highlighted the importance of leaving behind the current constitution shaped by the military junta after the 1980 coup.

Since 1982, the current Constitution, drafted following a military coup, has seen several amendments. The bloody 1980 coup, which led to the detention of hundreds of thousands of people along with mass trials, torture and executions, still represents a dark period in Turkish political history.

The proposed changes focuses on the topics of freedom, the right to security, the right to a fair trial, freedom of speech as well as the rights of women and the disabled. The enhancement of these rights and liberties has seen setbacks in the bureaucracy that have prevented these rights and liberties from being implemented properly. The plan has been prepared in accordance with the observations and reports of the international mechanisms that monitor human rights in cooperation with several human rights groups.

Some of the other principles of the plan are human dignity, as the essence of all rights, under the active protection of the law; the equal, impartial and honest provision of public services to everyone; the rule of law shall be fortified in all areas as a safeguard for rights and freedoms, and no one may be deprived of liberty due to criticism or expression of thought.

Erdoğan also hailed the presidential system, saying: “Our nation rejected the proposals to return to the old system with its will in elections on May 14 and May 28. The parliamentary system discussions were closed indefinitely.”

He noted that the presidential system has allowed a smooth and speedy transition following the elections, which has proven the effectiveness of the system.

Türkiye adopted its executive presidential system of governance in 2017 after a public referendum and put it into practice a year later.

Turkish officials have touted the benefits of the new system, saying it eliminates inefficiencies and enables the smoother working of the administration.

Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan tour

After his reelection on May 28, Erdoğan said he paid his first foreign visits to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Azerbaijan.

“We will continue our struggle shoulder to shoulder with the Turkish Cypriots, who are an integral part of the Turkish nation. We will never allow the rights of either our country or the TRNC to be usurped,” he stressed.

Turning to Azerbaijan, Erdoğan said during talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev they took many decisions to improve bilateral relations.

“We have determined a common goal to increase the trade volume to $15 billion,” he added.

Erdoğan also said that the establishment of the Türkiye-Azerbaijan University was given priority.

“We emphasized our support for the ongoing normalization process with Armenia,” he added.