Constitutional committee fails to agree on equality, moves on to right to life

Turkey has long been trying to replace its current Constitution, which was adopted shortly after a bloody military takeover in 1980.

Constitutional committee fails to agree on equality, moves on to right to life

World Bulletin / News Desk

The parliamentary Constitutional Reconciliation Commission, which is currently working to draft a new constitution, has failed to agree on a definition of equality, an issue that has been debated by the commission for some time, instead choosing to leave the issue for later and to take up the right to life instead.

The Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) want the expression “regardless of sexual orientation” to be included in the phrase that will ensure equality for all. However, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) say the expression “all are equal before the law” should be sufficient and would include homosexuals.

The BDP and CHP have also insisted on the addition of a phrase against discrimination based on ethnicity, but the two other parties maintain the same argument that this is not necessary.

CHP deputy Atilla Kart, during a meeting of the commission, asserted that Turkey has a problem with discrimination. He recalled a racial slur uttered by Fenerbahçe football player Emre Belözoğlu that targeted Trabzonspor's black player Didier Zokora.

Turkey has long been trying to replace its current Constitution, which was adopted shortly after a bloody military takeover in 1980. Although a large number of amendments have been made to it, the Constitution still bears the spirit of the coup era and the mentality of the junta behind it.

All political parties in their election campaigns last year promised to draft a more democratic constitution, rid of militaristic overtones. The commission was formed last year, but talks on the specific articles only began recently.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Mayıs 2012, 17:50

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