Turkey’s Erdoğan pledges new constitution

April 17, 2011, Sunday/ 09:00:00

Turkey's prime minister says his government will write a new constitution that will strengthen democracy and freedoms, if re-elected in June.

Turkey's current constitution, introduced under military rule in 1982, has clauses that restrict some political rights and freedoms, including free speech or minority rights.

PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday the new constitution would "support democracy and freedoms." He was introducing his ruling party's manifesto before the June 12 elections.

Opinion polls show Erdoğan's party is the front-runner in the elections, although it is not clear if it would gain sufficient seats in parliament to change the constitution alone.

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