Erdogan Announces Initiative for the Adoption of a New Constitution

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emphatically communicated the nation's need for a constitution befitting its rapidly developing democracy, economy, and freedoms

by Faruk Imamovic
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Erdogan Announces Initiative for the Adoption of a New Constitution
© Getty Images News/Chris McGrath

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emphatically communicated the nation's need for a constitution befitting its rapidly developing democracy, economy, and freedoms. Held at the Supreme Court Presidency in Ankara, the heart of the nation, this call to action resonates deeply within Turkey's historical framework.

A Call to Unity and Participation

"We need to submit to the appreciation of the nation a text that 85 million people will embrace and cherish," expressed Erdoğan. It was not just a top-down directive; instead, he encouraged a grassroots approach, inviting political parties, universities, high courts, and every individual in the country to actively contribute to this monumental constitutional reform process.

Since its inception, modern Turkey has been steered by four distinct constitutions. The first was enacted in 1921, followed by subsequent amendments in 1924 and 1961. The 1982 Constitution, which is currently in force, has undergone modifications to align with evolving global and regional dynamics, including a transformative switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system post the 2017 referendum.

Erdoğan emphasized the nation's resilience, reflecting on the attempted coup in 2016: "On July 15 [2016], we all saw once again that no artillery, tanks or weapons could suppress the collective beating hearts." His words echoed the imperative of finding common ground amidst diversity: "Although our origins, lifestyles, and ideologies are different, we, as Türkiye, should be able to find common ground.

Instead of deepening our differences, we should be able to increase our commonalities."

Towards a Renewed Constitutional Vision

With the recommencement of parliamentary sessions, Erdoğan promised a renewed initiative.

"Our promise will be a first-class constitution, complementary to first-class democracy, economy, and freedoms. The 'Century of Türkiye' will be strengthened with such a constitution," he announced. Beyond the constitutional sphere, Erdoğan didn't shy away from underscoring Turkey's increasing influence on the global stage: "In an equation where chaos and uncertainty are increasing, Türkiye is making a name for itself with its military, diplomatic, economic, and political moves." It's clear that Turkey is on the cusp of significant transformation.

As President Erdoğan and influential figures like Parliament Speaker Numan Kurtulmuş and Defense Minister Yaşar Güler chart the course, the world watches with bated breath.

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