The leaders of three political parties represented in the Turkish parliament agreed to begin work on a small-scale constitutional change, mainly to restructure the judiciary, during an unprecedented meeting held under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 25, Turkey’s prime minister has said.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım described the two-hour-40-minute-long meeting at the presidential office in Ankara with the participation of Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğluand Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli as “historic and productive,” stressing that all participants were in consensus over the July 15 coup attempt.
“We have seen as the leaders [of political parties] that we were on the same page about the need to take measures [against a potential future coup] in the short-term and for a new constitution. Particularly, a small-scale constitutional change can take place by mutual accord in order to remove negative consequences of the collapse in the system. We will jointly work to prepare the ground for it,” Yıldırım announced at a press conference following a cabinet meeting late July 25.
Apart from short-term planning, the prime minister also said that all leaders shared the view that the county was in need of a completely new constitution written with the participation of all parties, adding they agreed to revive the suspended intra-party talks over the new charter.
A parliamentary panel formed in 2011 with the task of rewriting the constitution was only able to complete 60 articles. The panel was reestablished following the November 2015 general elections but was only able to hold three meetings because of a deep disagreement over changing the country’s governance system from the current parliamentary one into a presidential system.
Change in the judiciary
While the parties would resume talks over the new charter, they could also perfectly address the need to create unity within the judicial system through small-scale changes to the constitution, the prime minister said.
“We will delegate our friends to work on these and we’ll later evaluate [the proposed changes] at the leader level,” he informed. It was reported the deputy parliamentary group leaders of the three parties will come together to make the necessary planning.
HDP may join, too
Upon a question, Yıldırım stated the other party represented in parliament, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), could also join the process, although its leaders were not invited to the meeting at the presidency.
“There is no limitation. They may perfectly join the works,” he said.