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ANKARA - The AKP attempted to rewrite the constitution after the elections in 2007 but suspended it due to methodological conflicts with the opposition. Prime Minister Erdoğan tells a crowd in Sivas that work will resume soon
The attempts to renew the constitution will be restored post-election, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters Friday. "The work for a civilian constitution will be resumed after the elections," he said during a meeting with visiting students.
Turkey’s current constitution was a product of a military junta that staged a coup in 1980. Many administrations tried to turn it into a civilian constitution but failed due to disagreements. The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, attempted to rewrite the constitution after the general elections in 2007 but suspended it due to methodological conflicts with the opposition parties. The AKP needs the support of at least 30 deputies to amend the constitution.
When asked by a student when the government would save the people from the junta-made constitution, Erdoğan said by April. Recalling that a parliamentary committee was established for the constitutional amendments last year but the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, refused to nominate members to it, Erdoğan stated that "there was a need to seek consensus among the political parties."
"Well, when they don’t nominate any members to the committee, the amendments had to be taken to somewhere else. Where are they? The Constitutional Court. Taking such issues to court will cause tension once again in the country. We don’t want to put Turkey through another period of tension," he said. Erdoğan hinted that they would seek consensus with other parties through consultations after the March 29 local elections. "We want to let Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan step in," Erdoğan said. In an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Toptan had signaled that efforts to renew the constitution would be exerted after the elections.
There is a large consensus among the political parties that a civilian constitution must be created, but the problem stems from its methodology.
The AKP established a group of academics in 2007 to draft a document. This document was later controlled by an expert group of AKP deputies. Not to give the impression that the constitution is solely a product of the AKP, the ruling party distributed it to nongovernmental organizations, trade unions and other political parties. But the AKP’s approach was slammed by the opposition parties.
As the parties did not give enough backing to the AKP, the party had stopped its efforts for a constitution.