The Parliamentary Constitutional Reconciliation Commission changes philosophy of constitution
When the parliamentary Constitutional Reconciliation Commission finishes drafting the new constitution in the coming months, it will be submitted to the General Assembly of Parliament. (Photo: Today's Zaman, Ali Ünal)
The Parliamentary Constitutional Reconciliation Commission has started to write the first draft of the new constitution via sub-commissions.
The motivation of commission members has increased after a consensus was reached on the first two articles of the new constitution concerning basic human rights and freedoms.
After this consensus, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have declared that they will not leave the table during the drafting process. The Republican People's Party (CHP) has previously declared its determination to attend the whole drafting process, and the fact that the CHP Deputy Chairwoman Emine Ülker Tarhan stated that the CHP would withdraw from the drafting process because of its arrested deputies has not received much support from party members.
One member of the commission from the CHP who wished to remain anonymous said the CHP cannot easily leave the table, the main factors being the public's expectation for a new constitution and the rate of progress made in the drafting process.
Since the commission has reached a consensus on the outlines of the 41 articles concerning basic human rights and freedoms, the CHP will have a hard time explaining to their supporters if they leave the negotiations.
Commenting on the first article the commission has written titled "Human dignity", another member of commission who wished to remain anonymous said: "This is the most important article of the constitution because this article symbolizes the transition from the statist philosophy to a liberal one."
Article 1 states that: "Human dignity is untouchable. Human dignity is the basis of human rights and constitutional order. The state respects human dignity and the people's right to improve themselves materially and spiritually, protects their values and eliminates the obstacles in front of them.”
The draft of the new constitution introduces full guarantees for fundamental rights and freedoms in Article 2, which states, "Everyone has inherent fundamental rights and freedoms that arise from human dignity and which are inviolable, intransferable and inalienable. The fundamental rights and freedoms are adopted as a whole and are complementary to one another."
Next week, the commission will write the third article titled "Equality." On Wednesday, the Parliamentary Constitutional Reconciliation Commission evaluates the work of the sub-commissions.
A Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy who is a lawyer and asked to remain anonymous stated that the enthusiasm and excitement of the commission will influence the public's expectation for a new constitution during the summer.
However, the main issues that would trigger a confrontation among the parties will be discussed next autumn.
At that time, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will need to reiterate his statement saying, "The government will continue to write a new civilian constitution with those who do not leave the table.” The future will determine whether the consensus of four parliamentary parties on the new constitution will continue or if the new constitution will be prepared by the parties who did not leave the table.
The municipal elections in 2014 are approaching and all parties have started to plan their election campaigns.
The Parliamentary Industry and Commerce commission, a candidate for fair play
The Parliamentary Industry and Commerce Commission has completed its works in an exemplary way. The commission has discussed and drafted law that will be regulate electronic commerce and submitted its report to the Parliamentary Speaker's Office with a full consensus.
Since the deputies were also uneasy about the loopholes, the commission meetings have been undertaken in a cordial atmosphere.
During the meetings, the latest figures concerning the e-commerce sector in Turkey were presented. It was stated that Turkey currently has the second-fastest growing e-commerce sector. Turkey's e-commerce volume, with 35 million Internet users, has seen a 16-fold increase within the past six years to reach TL 23 billion. Between 2010 and 2011, there was a foreign capital flow of $750 million into the Turkish e-commerce sector.
It is expected that the law will increase the volume of e-commerce in Turkey by eliminating the problems in online shopping.
Recalling the brawl that erupted between deputies of the main opposition party and the ruling party during a meeting of the parliamentary Education Commission, the CHP Adana deputy Ümit Özgümüş stated that the Education Commission should take the working style of the parliamentary Industry and Commerce Commission as an example. The AK Party İstanbul deputy Metin Külünk stated that all members of the commission from both the ruling and opposition parties have worked harmoniously.
During commission meetings, one of the most discussed topics was prevention of unsolicited promotional phonecalls, SMS messages and email.
During the commission meetings some deputies gave as examples promotional SMS messages that they themselves received on their mobiles.
The AK Party Bolu deputy Ali Ercoşkun called these marketing strategies as a waste of resources. Complaining that he also receives lots of unsolicited SMS messages and emails, the MHP Denizli deputy Emin Haluk Ayhan stated that many people are waiting for the authorities to find a solution.
Article 6 of the draft law states that "the companies cannot SMS to their consumers without the permission of the costumers."