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.



One Person Found Dead, 2 Missing in Switzerland Floods

This aerial photograph shows a view of the hamlet of Sorte, south of Lostallo in the Moesa Region in the Swiss canton of Graubunden (Grisons) after violent downpours caused floods and landslides on June 23, 2024. (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)
This aerial photograph shows a view of the hamlet of Sorte, south of Lostallo in the Moesa Region in the Swiss canton of Graubunden (Grisons) after violent downpours caused floods and landslides on June 23, 2024. (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)
TT

One Person Found Dead, 2 Missing in Switzerland Floods

This aerial photograph shows a view of the hamlet of Sorte, south of Lostallo in the Moesa Region in the Swiss canton of Graubunden (Grisons) after violent downpours caused floods and landslides on June 23, 2024. (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)
This aerial photograph shows a view of the hamlet of Sorte, south of Lostallo in the Moesa Region in the Swiss canton of Graubunden (Grisons) after violent downpours caused floods and landslides on June 23, 2024. (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)

Rescuers in Switzerland have found the body of one of three people who had gone missing on Saturday after massive thunderstorms and rainfall in the southeast of the country caused a rockslide, Swiss authorities say. The other two are still missing.
One woman was pulled out alive from the rubble earlier on Saturday morning, The Associated Press reported.
“Today is a sad day,” said Ignazio Cassis, member of the Swiss Federal Council, who addressed reporters Sunday after traveling to the region to show solidarity with the victims on behalf of the Swiss Federal Government.
A team of 200 rescuers has been searching for the missing people since Saturday with excavators, specially-trained search dogs, drones and army helicopters. But the likelihood of finding them alive is low, William Kloter from the Swiss police, who is heading the rescue operations, told reporters Sunday.
Search operations had to be halted during the night due to heavy rain.
The rockslide hit a group of three houses in the municipality of Lostallo in the Alpine valley of Misox in Graubünden.
Swiss authorities also said that a segment of the Swiss motorway A13 leading towards Italy had been completely submerged and destroyed by flooding. The major transit route between the key San Bernardino Pass and Roveredo in Graubünden will likely remain closed for several months.