Turkish presidents supports new civil contitution

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Sunday he supported the government's plans to draft a new constitution.

Turkish presidents supports new civil contitution

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Sunday he supported the government's plans to draft a new constitution or to revise the current charter, part of a European Union-inspired reform programme.

The ruling AK Party, which has spearheaded Turkey's drive to join the EU, has pledged to overhaul the country's 1982 constitution, drafted by a military regime that seized power after a 1980 coup.

The current charter curbs some political rights, such as freedom of expression and religious freedom, and allows for the military to exert influence over elected governments.

"There is wide consensus on writing a new constitution or changing some of the existing constitution's articles," Gul said in comments that were broadcast live by NTV news channel.

"I hope that this will be realised in a very favourable atmosphere, in a favourable manner," he said.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said his government would renew efforts to revamp the constitution, including negotiating with the opposition, after local elections next month that are seen as a refenderum on the AK Party

Erdogan dropped plans for a new constitution last year when a court case was opened to ban the AK Party for allegedly violating Turkey's secular laws. The Constitutional Court ruled against outlawing the party in July 2008.

The EU has said that constitutional reform would help stabilise Turkey, the only Muslim candidate applying for entry into the bloc, and help ensure its laws meet European standards.

Reuters

Last Mod: 16 Şubat 2009, 11:44
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