ANKARA - TDN Parliament Bureau
Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan met with the prime minister yesterday to discuss possible constitutional amendments expected to be on Parliament's agenda for the next legislative term, beginning Oct. 1. Toptan told reporters earlier that he planned to advocate for a brand new constitution at the meeting.
Toptan told reporters that he was the one who requested the get-together with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking at a funeral in Ankara prior to the meeting. Although he denied having any special agenda, he signaled a possible discussion with Erdoğan of the constitution.
�I favor a brand new constitution of 2008 or 2009, but if this is not possible we still need to start a discussion on constitutional changes that could accelerate Turkey's modernization process,� said Toptan. In response to a question about whether he would take initiative on the matter, he said he is ready to do his part.
Announcing priorities for Parliament for the new legislative year at a press conference two weeks ago, Toptan had already expressed his support on partial constitutional amendments targeting some weakened aspects of the 1982 Constitution, which is under constant criticism from liberals at home and abroad because of a restrictive approach to rights.
Sources said Toptan was readying to take the initiative in October by establishing a committee for compromise on constitutional amendments with participation from members of all political parties in Parliament.