Türkiye has left the electoral period behind.
With the appointment of the new Cabinet, the first issue that came to the fore has been “new constitution”.
The new government’s decision to appoint people with ties to the US and the UK to manage the economy has sparked a debate.
Another issue the week was whether Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), would resign after his party was defeated in the elections.
Debates on the new “civil” constitution
On May 28, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the second round of presidential elections.
With the appointment of the new cabinet, government officials have reintroduced once again a new “civil” constitution.
After the elections, President Erdoğan said: “We will resubmit our constitutional amendment proposal, which we brought to the agenda before the elections, to the Parliament.”
After Erdoğan’s statement, Presidential Advisor Mehmet Uçum made detailed statements about the new constitution.
“The indispensables and basic perspectives of the new constitution can be summarized as follows:
Principles of the Republic:
A constitution in which the founder leader Atatürk; Republic, unitary structure, justice and human rights-based, democratic, secular, social state and rule of law being the foundation, official language Turkish, red crescent-star flag, national anthem the Independence March, and the capital Ankara.
The constitution will be one based on the presidential system, which is the fundamental achievement of popular will, and where the principle of democratic legitimacy for all powers is preserved and enhanced.
The 2023 Constitution is going to replace that of 1982.
After 41 years, a completely new constitution that will ensure our complete liberation from the constitution which was the outcome of a coup d’état.
Civil Constitution: A constitution based on the demands and will of the people, rather than those of institutional structures and elites.
Inclusive Constitution: A constitution based on the principle of the inclusiveness and the definition of Turkish Nation and Turkish Citizenship, considering every individual in Türkiye as an essential constituent.
Liberty-oriented Constitution: A constitution that comprehensively encompasses both individual and collective aspects of all rights and freedoms, defines domains of new generation rights and freedoms, sees rights and freedoms as fundamental and limitations as exceptions.
Protective Constitution: A constitution that guarantees the protection and development of the material and moral existence of the State.
A constitution that allows for the protection and strengthening of full independence in all its dimensions.
A constitution that guarantees the protection and development of the material and moral existence of individuals.
A constitution that guarantees the protection of nature, environment, climate, seas, coasts, forests, water resources, natural resources, underground riches and their proper use for the public good.
A constitution that includes legal measures to protect people against natural disasters.
Social Constitution: A constitution that allows for many social justice approaches and new social policies, such as income security for all, equality of opportunity in general, a fair minimum wage for workers, the right to free health care, the right to free education, the right to full social security, additional support for vulnerable social groups, the development of different social assistance and social service opportunities, the full realization of the right to work, and the transition to a fair income distribution system that will reduce the differences between income groups in society.
Constitution of the Advanced Democracy: Electronic Democracy / the right to electronic participation for the development of the functioning of an individual-initiated democratic system,
Right of recall and the people’s right to propose legislation,
People’s right to appeal to the Constitutional Court,
Diversify and strengthen opportunities and channels for public participation in the legislative process,
Developing structures and functions where the will of the people will also be effective in judicial processes.
A constitution that comes into existence when the draft constitution prepared on the basis of the demands of the people is transformed into a proposal after public/civil society debate and comes into force by being submitted to the approval of the people, even if it is adopted by more than 400 votes in the Parliament (Society-Centered Constitutionalism).”
After Uçum, AKP Group Deputy Chairman Abdülhamit Gül made the following statement reiterating the demand for a new constitution:
“A new constitution is one of the most important goals for the Century of Türkiye. The key to the Century of Türkiye is the new constitution and I believe that Türkiye will make its new and civilian constitution in this period. The AK Party will again pioneer this issue in the parliament. Türkiye needs to get rid of the residues of the constitution of the coup d’état and needs a civilian constitution. In order to achieve this in this period, as AK Party, we will endeavor to put forward our new constitution by meeting with all parties with a constructive, conciliatory and negotiating approach. Türkiye deserves this.”
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voiced support for the new constitution.
CHP Member of Parliament Erdoğan Toprak stated, “If the AK Party is sincere about Türkiye having a constitution that is democratic, respectful of human rights and the rule of law, and guarantees the rights and freedoms of its citizens, equality and security for women, as well as political and economic democracy, we are ready for cooperation.”
“Western winds” in the economy policy
The first signs of how Erdoğan’s “policy of balance” will proceed after the elections have begun to emerge with the appointments to the Ministry of Economy and the Central Bank Presidency.
Mehmet Şimşek, a British citizen and former economic advisor to the US mission in Türkiye, has been appointed as Economy Minister.
Şimşek’s appointment was welcomed in the Western media.
Şimşek’s appointment was also received positively by the opposition, which favors good relations with the West. CHP Deputy Chairman for Administrative and Financial Affairs Bülent Kuşoğlu supported the appointment of Şimşek:
“All economic balances in Türkiye had been disrupted. Now, with Mehmet Şimşek, in the coming days the economy will operate on a rational basis, but in the meantime we will experience hyperinflation.”
Hafize Gaye Erkan has been named governor of the Central Bank of Türkiye.
Gaye Erkan previously studied and worked in the US. She graduated from Princeton University in 2006, and worked in financial services, banking, investment, risk management, technology and digital innovation. She also completed business programs at Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2015 and 2016.
Gaye Erkan joined Goldman Sachs in 2005 as an associate and was named a managing director in 2011. Erkan after worked in the First Republic Bank, where she became co-chief executive officer in 2021.
Meanwhile, there are allegedly ongoing lawsuits in the US related to the collapse of the bank where Gaye Erkan last worked.
Main opposition party (CHP) discusses the resignation of chairman
Calls for resignation are coming towards Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition party CHP and the candidate of the Table of Six for the presidential election, after being defeated in the elections. After the loss in the elections, some called for “change” within the party.
In a television program, Kılıçdaroğlu signalled that he would not resign and continue in his position until the party congress: “I am not saying that I will be a candidate in the congress. I have never said such a thing until today. The organs of the party will decide this. Anyone can be a candidate. Those who pay dues regularly every month will vote in the primary election and the chairman will be elected at the congress.”
It is rumored that Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu may run for Kılıçdaroğlu’s seat. Previously İmamoğlu said the following about the need for change within the party: ”Lamentably, we have lost three consecutive elections in nine years, including the presidential election… We cannot do the same mistakes and remain negligence to them. The CHP stands as the most significant political party in the history of the republic.”