Turkish parties meet to discuss constitutional changes

– AK Party, CHP, and MHP show determination to preserve common ground on new constitution after defeated coup

– Representatives of three of the main political parties represented in parliament gathered for the first time Friday to discuss changes to the country’s constitution, reported Anadolu Agency..

In a move showing unity between the parties, three deputies – Abdulhamit Gul (from the ruling Justice and Development Party or AK Party), Bulent Tezcan (from the main opposition Republican People’s Party or CHP) and Mehmet Parsak (from the Nationalist Movement Party or MHP) – clearly signaled that they would preserve the common ground that emerged in the wake of the July 15 defeated coup.

“We hope that we will strengthen our democracy more, and we will carry out the constitutional change in the areas our country needs,” Gul said before the meeting.

“We are also determined on taking into consideration our nation’s expectations,” said Gul, adding that the AK Party would use every available effort to change the current Constitution, a relic of the 1980 military coup.

Tezcan said the three parties came together to make a number of small changes applying to the nation’s judiciary.

“We have recently seen how important [it is] to make needed constitutional changes quickly and [jointly], especially with amendments related to the judiciary,” he said.

Parsak said the current common ground between the parties should be preserved.

“We are waiting for this commission [to conclude] its work according to our nation and state’s needs,” he said.

The three parties represented in parliament, with the exception of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), decided to set up a commission after the coup attempt that left 240 martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

The commission will especially focus on the constitutional changes related to the judiciary.

The AK Party has long called for a “democratic, participatory, and pluralistic” new constitution