Turkey’s MHP says it is ready for talks on new constitution

Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party top official says party is ready for further talks on new constitution following high-level meeting between Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and MHP leader Devlet Bahceli

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) and leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli (L) shake hands at Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on Jan. 4, 2016.

Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Monday agreed to help draft a new constitution to replace the 34-year-old charter which came into effect after a military coup on September 12, 1980.

"We suggest that the work on changing the constitution should go on as if it never had stopped," MHP Deputy Chairman Oktay Ozturk said. "We should go on discussing the 61st article."

In 2013, Turkey’s parliamentary parties formed a commission to rework the constitution introduced in 1982 following a military coup two years earlier. The commission could only agree on 60 articles before it was disbanded.

Ozturk’s comments followed a meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and MHP Chairman Devlet Bahceli, who heads the party with the smallest number of seats in Turkey's Parliament, for talks on a new constitution.

Last week, Davutoglu also enlisted the support of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), in creating a new constitution.

Talks with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were cancelled last month following remarks from HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas concerning autonomy for Turkey's southeastern Kurdish-majority provinces amid continuing violence.

Davutoglu’s governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) aims to replace the current parliamentary system with a presidential model under a new constitution. However, Ozturk said the MHP would never accept a presidential system.

“If there are certain problematic parts in the parliamentary system, they should be reviewed and the system should be strengthened," he said, stressing Turkey’s 93-year history under a parliamentary system.

TRTWorld, AA