17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Group of intellectuals oppose excluding ‘Turkishness’ from new constitution

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27 March 2013, Wednesday /TODAYSZAMAN.COM, İSTANBUL
A number of academics, former generals, well-known intellectuals and writers expressed in a statement released on Wednesday their objection to the removal of the term “Turkishness” from the constitution currently being drafted.

The new constitution is expected to be free of any emphasis on ethnicity when defining citizenship and other related issues.

The group, which includes renowned historians Professor Halil İnalcık and Professor İlber Ortaylı; writer Alev Alatlı; Hasan Celal Güzel, an advisor to former President Turgut Özal; former Parliament Speaker Hüsamettin Cindoruk; retired Gen. Edip Başer and other influential figures, said in the statement that the reference to the “Turkish nation” cannot be removed from the Constitution.

How to define citizenship in new constitution, which is being currently drafted by the parliamentary Constitutional Reconciliation Commission, is one of the contested political issues that deeply polarized society and political parties in Parliament.

The issue is also related to settlement of the decades-old Kurdish dispute as government has launched a new initiative to resolve the conflict through peaceful and political means with extending rights of Turkey's Kurds. Drafting a new constitution is one of the most significant components of any settlement of the Kurdish conflict, experts say.

Along with liberals and democrats, Kurdish politicians strongly oppose any emphasis on ethnicity in the new constitution.

The statement said the nation-state, which was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, marking the continuing sovereign presence of Turkish nation in Anatolia since Ottomans and Seljuks, can’t be excluded from new constitution.

Following Mr Kemal's narrow definition of the post Ottoman citizens of Turkiye cannot function in democratic Turkey. Lambing the whole nation into one race at the expenses of the rest cannot function in this day and age. Thus, the new constitution should embrace multiculturalism where diverse citize...
Unless Turkey scraps law 301 along with the definition of "Turkishness" the "democracy train" which Mr. Erdogan is so keen on "jumping out from" whenever he feels like doing so, will indeed be slow arriving... Regards
If Turkishness will not be eliminated from the New constitution then there is no need to write a new one. Turks in Turkey are not the only ethnicity, you can be Turkish citizen , which means citizen of the Republic of Turkey without being necessarily a Turk ethic, otherwise there is no place for all...
I am surprised that Halil Inalcik would sign such a petition. It surely does not flatter him.
Even with their murky past, Turks should be proud of their origin, NO doubt.
Germany-german, France-french, Türkiye- Türk..
Halil Inalcik is the only intellectual among them. The rest are what you would call "meczup"s and a moron. Besides, since Inalcik is 97 years old now, he may have been deceived by the others about the content of the statement.
Ferhat B
Hemmmmmmmmmmm; then the main question to ask these "intellectuals" would be: how do you define the concept of intellectualism? However, it seems that as soon somebody gets a formal degree from some educational institutions in Turkey, he/she will automatically become an intellectual. No this is not t...
Said Morad Babaheidari
The Old Guard has spoken.
In which country on earth are academics, generals and intellectuals in the same social/ethnic/nationalistic/ultra nationalistic club ? Visions on nationalism, ethnicity, citizenship and nation-state that dominated the political-philosophical discours around the 1920s are since the end of World War I...
Multi Culti
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