Web Desk February 21, 2021

After the death of Professor Burhan Kuzu, AKP’s constitutional lawyer and inspirer of the country’s change of government, at the age of 65 last November, “constitutional amendment” proposals were introduced for the first time without Kuzu.


We are talking about the fact that there were two people behind the curtain (one is Soros’s former representative in Turkey and the other is Kars’s “pure-blooded communist”), and unlike previous proposals, this time there is a specific reference to the move regarding the amendment: the 1921 constitution.


Former Minister of Justice, Hikmet Sami Türk, one of Turkey’s fairest lawyers, wrote in an article in Cumhuriyet on February 19 that the most amendments have been made by the AKP in the last 18 years, describing amendments to the constitution since the first constitution which was adopted in 1876. Therefore, at this stage, there should be no reason for the government to complain about the constitution. From this point of view, it is necessary to look for other reasons behind raising the issue of changing the constitution and referring directly to the 1921 constitution.


What could be the reasons? The first reason, of course, is political in nature, and this time it will be about the ideological form of governance, not the functional one. We noted that the government, which has long noted that the polarization of the country has split from the government-opposition channel into secular-religious poles, has increased the number of “exercises” in this area and is trying to intensify consolidation around it. The new constitutional requirement also needs to be assessed in this context because the constitution, which was drafted by the military junta in 1982 and adopted by 91.7% of people by force, does not contain any articles that would hinder the current government. The three most important aspects of the first four articles of the current constitution are the principle of a secular and social state, the official language being Turkish, and the absence of a “religion” column. It is difficult to say whether a second language will be written in the “official language” column but it is clear that the government needs to open the discussion of “secularism” and “religion” as it needs air and water.


The main purpose of the reference to the interim constitution of 1921, prepared by the Ankara government, which was headed by Mustafa Kemal Paşa in the middle of the national liberation struggle and did not recognize the Istanbul palace, is to write “Islam is the religion of the state” in the interim constitution.


Strange as it may seem, today’s Kurdish-leaning politics, which is not on the line of “secularism”, often refers to the 1921 constitution and claims that the Kurds had more rights there. In other words, the government, which not only raises the issue of a “new constitution” and, more precisely, the first four articles of the constitution but also claims that the 1921 constitution was “more democratic and more unifying for society”, is trying to take the “Kurdish issue” back at least 19 years and get a vote on the “Muslim brotherhood” line again.


It does not seem possible with the current table in the parliament, so the current government, knowing that the “religious brotherhood” factor will play an important role for at least half of the Kurdish voters in the referendum on the new constitution, is trying to strongly refer to the password of “1921 constitution”. Although it is difficult to predict where this process will lead, it is undeniable that religion is increasingly being used as an element of pressure and propaganda.


For 2-3 months, the muezzins of the Hagia Sophia Mosque have been involved in the moves of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (funded entirely by the secular state), which has been waging a war against the secular system for almost two years and has a budget of more than the joint budget of eight ministries. Ideological propaganda in this direction is sometimes supported by the lowest officials of the state, and sometimes the graves of clergymen (for example, İskilipli Atıf) who openly opposed the national liberation movement become the propaganda space of governors, politicians, and university rectors.


What will happen: will a new constitution really be written and submitted to a referendum, or are these tactical steps being taken to exacerbate polarization?


In all cases, it will be the decision of the nation: the secular system will either stay or go…


Source: Turan News Agency

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