Gov’t ready to discuss a new constitution, says Turkey’s Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said it was time to begin discussion on a new constitution for the country, while vowing that sweeping reform packages would soon be revealed.

"Perhaps it is now time to once again discuss Turkey’s constitution,’’Euroenows Turkish cited Erdoğan as saying in a press conference following an cabinet meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).  "In the period ahead, we may take action on a new constitution.’’

Reform packages announced last year would soon " be revealed soon in full detail," the Turkish president said.

Erdoğan in November promised a slate of judicial and economic reforms that would boost the country ahead of its centennial year in 2023. The reforms are set to include a new economic policy, based on price, finance and macroeconomic stability, as well as an emphasis on a human rights action plan.

"It is evident that the root of Turkey’s problems are constitutions that have been created by putschists since the 1960s,’’ Erdoğan said, adding that efforts for a new constitution should take place before the people and with participation from all representatives before being submitted to the judgement of the public.

Turkey’s current constitution was adopted in 1982, following a a referendum after the 1980 military coup.

Speaking on the envisaged reforms, Erdoğan said "anyone who says there is no need for reform in this country is oblivious to Turkey, the world and society,’’ noting a that a detailed work on the reforms would soon be shared with the public. 

Turkey has suffered from the effects of a nationwide government crackdown following the 2016 coup attempt, which saw tens of thousands detained and over 150,000 purged from the military and state institutions over alleged links to a religious group accused of orchestrating the coup.

The country was ranked 109th out of 126 in the World Justice Project’s 2019 Rule of Law Index.