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'We will replace constitution with a more democratic version', Erdogan says

Turkish President and leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan chairs the ruling AK Party’s Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) meeting in Ankara, Turkey on 5 October 2021. [Murat Kula - Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President and leader of Justice and Development (AK) Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan chairs the ruling AK Party’s Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) meeting in Ankara, Turkey on 5 October 2021. [Murat Kula - Anadolu Agency]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he hopes that the new constitution being drawn up for the country will be more democratic and ready for public debate by 2022, Anadolu reports.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will finalise work on the new constitution, he said.

"If we're able to conciliate with other parties' constitution proposals, we may finalise work for Turkey's first civilian-drafted constitution by year-end," Erdogan said.

The president went on to criticise the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for pledging to change the first four articles of the constitution and covertly cooperating with the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). According to Turkish laws, the first four articles cannot be changed.

In May, the AK Party ally Devlet Bahceli also drafted a new constitution for the country that envisages an overhaul of the judiciary.

Erdogan's call for a new constitution comes four years after the current constitution was amended following a referendum in 2017, which granted greater executive powers to the presidency. The following year, Erdogan was re-elected for a second term as President of the Republic.

A primary factor behind that change was the failed military coup attempt on 15 June 2016, which prompted a state of emergency that lasted two years. Further securitisation and the subsequent wide-reaching powers of the president were criticised by many for being contrary to the tradition of presidential neutrality in Turkey.

READ: Looking for new political equations in Turkey

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