Turkey needs ‘religious’ constitution, parliament speaker says

Published April 26th, 2016 - 08:05 GMT
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a new constitution that would replace the existing parliamentary system with an executive presidency. (AFP/File)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a new constitution that would replace the existing parliamentary system with an executive presidency. (AFP/File)

Turkey's parliament speaker has called for the adoption of a "religious" constitution and dropping secularism from the new charter, marking a sharp break with the modern republic's founding principles, Reuters reported.

"For one thing, the new constitution should not have secularism," parliament speaker Ismail Kahraman said late Monday, according to Turkish media. 

The ruling AK Party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been pushing to replace the existing constitution, which dates back to a 1980 military coup.

Lawmakers from AKP and opposition parties have agreed that the country is overdue for a new constitution, but critics fear it could place even more power in the hands of President Erdogan, who is seeking an executive presidency to replace the parliamentary system.

Turkey, an overwhelmingly Muslim-majority country of about 80 million, has been governed on secularist principles since the modern republic was established in 1923.


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