Turkey’s 62nd government will focus on amending the Constitution and speeding up the settlement process that aims to solve Turkey’s decades-old Kurdish problem, newly appointed Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced on Monday.
Taking the floor in Parliament to announce the newly formed government’s agenda, Davutoğlu’s speech stated that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has struggled against all kinds of tutelage over politics and society.
Davutoğlu said the current constitution has failed to satisfy contemporary Turkey’s needs, elaborating: “The current constitution is not appropriate for the Turkish people’s further demands, ideals or aims for a better future. The old kinds of political ideals and governing methods do not accord with the new Turkey.”
Signaling that the government will pursue the drawing up of a new constitution, Davutoğlu went on to say: “The current constitution falls short of reflecting the means of democratic checks and balances. It was built on the basis of controlling the national will through certain types of tutelage. Its strict centrist structure obstructs participation in democratic processes. We believe the constitution should be replaced with a new one.”
In terms of the content and structure of the planned constitution, Davutoğlu said it should focus on satisfying peoples’ demands through greater democracy and welfare, adding, “A civilian, more liberal and more pluralist constitution should not remain a promise to the Turkish people anymore.”
Describing the efforts to bring an end to the country’s Kurdish problem through the ongoing settlement process between the government and terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan as very valuable, Davutoğlu continued: “This problem has held our society captive for decades. Seeking temporary solutions to the problem exacerbated it, threatening our unity. As the government, we will continue to back the settlement process in a stronger manner and coordinate the relevant institutions with each other for effective cooperation on the issue in order to reach a solution. We are ready to put the new methods required in place and to encourage broad segments of society to take part in the process to find an urgent solution to the problem. The AK Party government, since it came to power [in 2002], has put the most comprehensive plan into practice in terms of change, normalization and democratic change through amendments in education, public investment and subsidies and embraced this as state policy.”