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Circumstances right for new Constitution in Turkey, President Erdoğan says

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the conditions are ripe to prepare a new constitution in Turkey, as he indicated that the country would pursue a new text rather than revising the existing document, which has been criticized for having traces of putschist ideology.

Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting, Erdoğan said patching some parts of the existing Constitution was not enough.

“The new constitution, by its nature, has to be supported by everyone, or at least by the overwhelming majority. All parties should join its preparation process,” the president said.

Erdoğan also noted that his party wants the new constitution to set an example for the world, as he urged fellow party members to focus on preparations and create the “most inclusive and sustainable draft possible.”

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) pledged to support the plans to draft a new Constitution, as Chairperson Devlet Bahçeli underlined in his statement that the country’s Constitution in its present form was the “product of extraordinary conditions.”

Turkey’s current Constitution was drafted following the Sept. 12, 1980, coup d’etat, and it still features elements of putschist influence despite a number of amendments having been made to subdue it.

AK Party wants Turkey to have a civilian-drafted Constitution by 2023, coinciding with the centenary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey.

Dismissing speculation about switching to the parliamentary system, Erdoğan previously said the new Constitution would be formed in line with the presidential system of government, which was approved in a referendum.

On April 16, 2017, Turkey held a referendum during which the majority of voters decided in favor of an 18-article bill to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system.

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