Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan

Erdoğan: ”It’s time to draft a new civil constitution for Turkey”

The Turkish president announced the start of works to draft a new constitution for the country, as well as a program of reforms.

“It is time to discuss the drafting of a new constitution for Turkey,” the President of the Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, declared late Monday in a public appearance from the presidential palace complex in Ankara after a meeting of his cabinet, announcing that his AKP party and his nationalist MHP allies are ready to support the drafting of a new civil constitution for the country.

“This task must be carried out in front of the public and with the participation of all its representatives, and in a transparent manner, and the text that emerges must be presented to the people for their approval,” said the Turkish president, confirming that it will begin immediately. talks with the National Movement Party (MHP).

“It is clear that the source of the problems in Turkey is the constitutions made by the coup plotters since 1960,” Erdoğan insisted. The current constitution (anayasa, in Turkish) of Turkey, although partially reformed in recent years, was approved in 1982 in a referendum organised by the military junta that organised the 1980 coup, and which ruled the country under an iron dictatorship until 1983, although the coup general Kenan Evren was appointed to govern as President until 1989.

Support from Turkish nationalists

From the MHP, which together with the AKP forms the electoral coalition called “People’s Alliance”, its president Devlet Bahçeli immediately supported Erdoğan’s proposal to draw up a new constitution for the country.

“It is obvious that Turkey needs a new constitution. The objective, vision and opinion of the MHP goes in this direction,” Bahçeli said in a statement, adding that the current constitution is “the product of extraordinary circumstances,” referring to the 1980 military coup.

From the main opposition party, the Kemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP), its spokesman Faik Öztra assured today that the proposal made by Erdoğan tries to divert attention from other problems in the country, and recalled that Turkey suffered a failed coup in 2016 shortly after the AKP pushed for a constitutional reform.

New reforms underway for Turkey

During his appearance, the Turkish president also reiterated his intention to promote new reforms in the coming months that will affect the economy and the judiciary. “Our reform package will be revealed in full detail soon,” Erdoğan said. “Whoever says that ‘There is no need for more reforms in this country’, is a person who does not know Turkey or its society,” he said in a sentence apparently addressed to the CHP.

Erdoğan also stressed that Turkey had managed to cope much better than other countries with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, indicating that the Turkish economy could have ended 2020 with a positive growth of 1%, according to the most recent data. “The latest international analyses show that Turkey and China are the only G20 countries that have ended 2020 with positive growth,” he stressed.

However, the Turkish president acknowledged that inflation and especially the increase in food prices is “the greatest threat” to the Turkish economy and to producers and consumers. “We believe that the volatility of food prices will decrease in the second half of the year, thanks to events in the world and the measures we are taking in our country,” he said.

Relaxation of coronavirus restrictions

Erdoğan – who recently spoke by phone with SpaceX founder Elon Musk – also touched on the significant progress made by Turkey in space and satellite construction technology. “Turkey has begun work on the creation of a satellite launch center, and will soon send its satellites and those of its allied countries into space,” he announced.

In addition to plans to draft a new civil constitution for Turkey, another important announcement made by Erdoğan is the beginning of a “gradual relaxation of restrictions due to COVID-19” in the face of the continuous decline in coronavirus infections, despite that the number of positives registered an increase on Monday, from 6,512 to 7,719 cases in 24 hours.