In the press conference on Tuesday, Batum spoke at length about the CHP's view on what Turkey's new constitution should look like. Batum also said the new constitution should treat Turkish as the only official language of the country but at the same time allow students to have the opportunity to study their native language at school.
He said the constitution should support the strengthening of local governments while preserving Turkey's form of government as a unitary state.
Batum said the CHP was looking forward to working with all segments of society in the drafting of a new constitution. He stated that a new constitution must be drafted by a “Constitutional Assembly” that will consist of civil society organizations, all political parties and universities. Batum said after comprehensive participation the prepared draft would then be taken to a referendum.
He said the CHP believes the introductory provisions of the current constitution should be cleared of ambiguous phrases that are open to various legal interpretations. He added that the role of Atatürk as the founder of the country should be emphasized.
Batum said that the constitutional provisions governing the principles of freedom of religion and conscience should be drafted considering “the state's impartiality toward all religions, pluralism of beliefs, which includes the right not subscribe to any religious convictions, and the state's responsibility to prevent religious pressure.”
He also criticized the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) for frequently expressing the need to adopt a new constitution for Turkey, but failing to clarify the specific content of this new constitution. Batum said the CHP's announcement on its views on the new constitution stood as a binding promise.