Constitution commission unable to agree on Article 4

The four political parties in the parliamentary commission are seeking consensus on the issue of non-amendable articles in the constitution

Constitution commission unable to agree on Article 4

World Bulletin/News Desk

The parliamentary Constitutional Reconciliation Commission, which convened on Wednesday to discuss Article 4 of the Turkish Constitution, which states that the first three articles of the constitution cannot be amended and their amendment cannot even be suggested, could not come to an agreement during their five-hour meeting.

The four political parties in the parliamentary commission are seeking consensus on the issue of non-amendable articles in the constitution. The parties could not reach an agreement during Wednesday's meeting and the issue was postponed for discussion during a meeting on Friday. The Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are against any discussion over the articles while the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) say a new constitution cannot be drafted without discussing the articles.

Speaking about the commission meeting, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek said on Thursday that the discussions over Article 4 will continue in an upcoming commission meeting, adding that consensus over this issue carries great importance for the success of the constitution drafting process.

Pointing to the difficulty of the parliamentary Constitutional Reconciliation Commission in coming to an agreement on the first four articles of the constitution, AK Party Deputy Chairman Mustafa Şentop, speaking with Today's Zaman, criticized the tough stance adopted by the CHP and the MHP regarding possible changes to the first three non-amendable articles of the constitution.

“Even the Sept. 12 coup plotters [the drafters of the current 1982 Constitution] were not as rigid in their stance over the first three articles as the CHP and the MHP currently are. The generals placed these articles under protection in terms of principles but opened the door for slight changes to the text, wording and expressions in the articles. However, what we observe today is that the CHP and the MHP are adopting a more rigid view of not amending the articles and a tougher stance than the five generals in the Sept. 12 coup junta,” Şentop said

Criticizing the attitude adopted by the CHP in the last two weeks in the process of drafting a new constitution, Şentop said the CHP members in the parliamentary commission behave as though they are from two different political parties. Requesting that the CHP revise its members appointed to the commission, Şentop said: “After a CHP representative in the commission agreed on an article along with members from the other three parties, another CHP member says he objects to the article. If a political party is sincere about drafting a new constitution, it should appoint serious and sincere representatives to the constitution-making commission.”

Speaking to reporters following the commission meeting on Wednesday, CHP Konya deputy Atilla Kart said that the CHP will never discuss changes to the first three articles of the constitution. Stating that all the political parties in the commission have expressed their views regarding changing those articles during the five-hour meeting, Kart said: “The first three articles of the constitution carry symbolic meaning. Therefore, the CHP will not be involved in any kind of discussion over changes to these three articles. We will also not allow others to discuss it.”

MHP deputy Faruk Bal told Today's Zaman that the attitudes of the parties in the commission are all very different from each other, stating that the MHP will not allow the first three articles to be changed.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Ağustos 2013, 23:06