Erdoğan, AKP congress

Erdoğan: ”Turkey will not turn its back on neither the East nor the West”

Erdoğan addressed several national and international issues during his AKP party congress, saying again that Turkey needs a new constitution.

Turkish President and AKP party leader Tayyip Erdoğan said today that Turkey will maintain an active foreign policy and will not turn its back on neither the East nor the West, as part of his speech delivered during the opening of the 7th Congress of the Justice and Development Party in Ankara.

In his speech, Erdoğan addressed various national and international current affairs, including aid to Libya and Syrian refugees, the conflict in the Caucasus over Karabakh, the fight against terrorism and especially against the PKK, or the situation of the economy as well as future economic reforms.

The Turkish president said in his speech that Turkey is located by its geographical position at a crossroads between Africa, Asia and Europe, and therefore cannot afford to turn its back on the East or the West, something does not prevent the country of seeking a more active foreign policy in line with its growing international role and in the defence of its national and foreign interests.

However, Erdoğan insisted that his goal is to achieve new alliances in the international arena and turn Turkey’s region of influence into a region of peace. Actually, in recent months Turkey has taken a more conciliatory stance with its neighbours, especially the European Union.

However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu asked today the EU to stop “buying time” and to strive for a sincere improvement of relations with Ankara, including a new customs agreement and a visa-free agreement for Turkish citizens.

A new constitution for Turkey is inevitable

Referring to his plans to draft a new civil constitution for Turkey, Erdoğan insisted that a new constitution for the Eurasian country is inevitable in light not only of Turkey’s recent history, but of the changes the world has experienced since 1982, and promised once again that it will be drafted in a transparent way and with the widest possible consensus.

“We want a constitution by which our nation can be governed,” Erdoğan said, assuring that the current constitution, the result of the 1980 coup, has lost its validity. “The new constitutional text, which will emerge with the broadest possible consensus, will be submitted to the approval of the people (in a referendum),” added the Turkish president, who set the deadline for the drafting of the new constitutional text in early 2022.