Turkey's MHP agrees to talks on constitution

(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Monday agreed to help draft a new constitution to replace the 34-year-old charter produced under the last military regime.

“Wesuggest that the work on changing the constitution should go on as if it never had stopped”MHP DeputyChairmanOktay Ozturk said. “We should go on discussingthe 61st article.”

In 2013 Turkey’s parliamentary parties formed a commission to rework theconstitution introduced in 1982 following a military coup two years earlier. The commission could only agree on 60 articles before it was disbanded.

Ozturk’s comments followed a meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and MHP ChairmanDevlet Bahceli who heads the smallest of Turkey’s four parliamentary parties for talks on a newconstitution.

Omer Celik deputy chairman of Davutoglu’s Justice and Development (AK) Party said a constitutional commission had been agreed with the MHP. He told journalists that all four parliamentary parties would have equalrepresentation on the commission.

Last week Davutoglu enlisted the support of Kemal Kilicdaroglu leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in creating a new constitution.

Talks with thePeoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were cancelled last month following remarks from HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas on autonomy for the southeast’s Kurdish-majority provinces amid continuing violence.

Celik did not explain how the HDP would be represented on the commission given its absence from talks.

“They excluded themselves from the process” he said.“We had asked the HDP for an appointment as a matter of respect to its voters. We cancelled the appointment due to thedisrespectful attitudes of HDP leaders to the prime minister and the AK Party.”

The AK Party aims to replacethe current parliamentary system with apresidential model under a new constitution. However opposition parties have repeatedly said they support the parliamentary system.

“If there are certain failing parts in theparliamentary system they should be handled and the system should be strengthened” Ozturk said stressing Turkey’s 93-year history under a parliamentary system.

Davutoglu is expected to brief ParliamentSpeaker Ismail Kahraman who will decidehow the commission will operate in the coming days.

The Journal Of Turkish Weekly

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