Erdogan: Current Constitution Cannot Sustain the New Türkiye

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks on Monday following a cabinet meeting in Ankara. (Turkish Presidency)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks on Monday following a cabinet meeting in Ankara. (Turkish Presidency)
TT

Erdogan: Current Constitution Cannot Sustain the New Türkiye

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks on Monday following a cabinet meeting in Ankara. (Turkish Presidency)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks on Monday following a cabinet meeting in Ankara. (Turkish Presidency)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his resolve to draft a new constitution for the country, saying the one in force after the military coup of 1980 cannot sustain the new Türkiye.

“It's not possible for the current constitution to sustain Türkiye anymore,” Erdogan said following a cabinet meeting in Ankara on Monday.

“Despite all the amendments introduced to the current constitution, we have not been able to eliminate the spirit of guardianship that the coup plotters have injected into it,” he said.

“The Turkish democracy should settle old scores with the tradition of coups by adopting a new and civil constitution,” he added.

Erdogan also stressed that he does not want a new constitution for himself. “Türkiye needs this. This is what our nation needs. Future generations deserve to be governed by a liberal constitution,” he said.

After being re-elected to a new and final presidential term in May 2023, Erdogan pledged to introduce a new liberal civil constitution to replace the current one, which according to him, is “a product of the (1980) coup.”

His insistence raises concerns that the move will help him cement his power indefinitely by allowing him to run for president again in the 2028 elections.

On Tuesday, Erdogan welcomed a Turkish court sentence of ex-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, to 42 years in prison and HDP's former co-chair Figen Yuksekdag to 30 years and three months for their alleged involvement in the Kobani protests in 2014.

The protesters in Türkiye’s mainly Kurdish southeast accused the Turkish army of standing by as ISIS militants besieged Kobani in plain view just across the Syrian border in October 2014. The protests led to the deaths of 37 people.

Speaking at the appointment ceremony of judges and public prosecutors, Erdogan said: “Ten years after the insurrection attempt, we see that justice has been served, albeit late, and we are pleased with this.”

He dismissed the sharp criticism of the judiciary for the overblown rulings in the case and called them politicized.

“We know well, especially from our experience, the damage caused by political and ideological polarization in the judicial system. We won't let that happen again,” he said.

The Kobani trial involved 24 convicted politicians among 108 defendants, who were sentenced to a combined 407 years and seven months in prison.



US Secret Service Chief Admits Failure in Trump Shooting

US Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle attends a House of Representatives Oversight Committee hearing on the security lapses that allowed an attempted assassination of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 22, 2024. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt
US Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle attends a House of Representatives Oversight Committee hearing on the security lapses that allowed an attempted assassination of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 22, 2024. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt
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US Secret Service Chief Admits Failure in Trump Shooting

US Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle attends a House of Representatives Oversight Committee hearing on the security lapses that allowed an attempted assassination of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 22, 2024. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt
US Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle attends a House of Representatives Oversight Committee hearing on the security lapses that allowed an attempted assassination of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 22, 2024. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt

US Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle admitted to Congress on Monday that she and her agency failed when a would-be assassin wounded Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

"We failed," Cheatle said in testimony before the House of Representatives Oversight Committee.

"The assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump on July 13th is the most significant operational failure at the Secret Service in decades."

Republican and Democratic lawmakers called on her to resign, calls that she rebuffed, saying at one point, "I think that I am the best person to lead the Secret Service at this time."

Asked about why there were no agents on the roof where the shooter was located or if the Secret Service used drones to monitor the area, Cheatle said she is still waiting for the investigation to play out, prompting groans and outbursts from members on the committee.
“Director Cheatle, because Donald Trump is alive, and thank God he is, you look incompetent," said Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio. “If he were killed you would look culpable.”
Trump was wounded in the ear, and two other attendees were injured after Thomas Matthew Crooks climbed atop the roof of a nearby building and opened fire.
The Secret Service has acknowledged it denied some requests by Trump's campaign for increased security at his events in the years before the assassination attempt. But, Cheatle said that there were “no assets denied" for the Trump rally on July 13.

"The level of security provided for the former president increased well before the campaign and has been steadily increasing as threats evolve," Cheatle said.

She declined to answer specific questions about the day's security plan from openly frustrated Republicans and Democrats, saying the matter was being investigated internally.

Monday's hearing marked the first round of congressional oversight of the attempted assassination.

On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray will appear before the House Judiciary Committee. And House Speaker Mike Johnson is also due to unveil a bipartisan task force to serve as a nexus point for House investigations.