Turkish opposition submits army law bill with little changes

Main secularist opposition party in Turkey on Thursday submitted to parliament a bill to amend an army law, backtracking earlier promise to lift.

Turkish opposition submits army law bill with little changes

World Bulletin / News Desk

Main secularist opposition party in Turkey on Thursday submitted to parliament a bill to amend an army law, backtracking earlier promise to lift.

The article has long been criticized in the country's military laws which is seen as a pretext used by the Turkish military for its past coups in the country.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) submitted the bill to change Article 35 of Internal Regulation of the Turkish Armed Forces that reads "the task of the Armed Forces is to guard and protect the Turkish country and the Republic of Turkey as described in the Constitution."

The bill proposes to amend the article as "the task of the Armed Forces is to guard and protect the Turkish country and the Republic of Turkey as described in the Constitution and within the boundaries of the functioning democratic system and with a view to uphold the Constitution."

However, last week CHP leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is also the leader of the AK Party, to remove Article 35 to prove his sincerity about settling accounts with the perpetrators of the Sept. 12, 1980 coup d'état and its legacy.

Erdogan responded to the call positively and said politicians can set up a commission to consider abolishing the article and invite Parliament -- which is currently on summer recess -- to hold an extraordinary session to remove the article.

Article 35 of the military law is considered as a justification deployed by the military for three coups - in 1960, 1971 and 1980 - in Turkey.


Related news reports:

Turkish opposition backtracks on proposal to lift army law

Turkey's army chief, PM unexpectedly meet "over coup suspects"

Turkey's CHP to submit army law proposal, AKP not hopeful

Turkish PM says open to amend controversial army law

Turkish President backs amendment "to end coup excuses"

Last Mod: 30 Temmuz 2010, 09:10
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