By resoundingly voting to reform their constitution in Sunday’s referendum, Turks took a giant step in their 87-year march toward full democracy. They also strengthened a government that has catapulted Turkey from a near-invisibility on the world stage to the status of a rising new power.”
While flying to New York with a group of journalists, President Abdullah Gül told us about what he experienced during the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup. Gül spent his life battling against an archaic state and the archaic mentality of such a state.
The referendum held on Sept. 12 is still being discussed at length throughout the country. Current discussions as well as future ones are quite understandable as the referendum was a major watershed in the history of Turkish democracy.
The leader of Turkey?s main opposition, the Republican People?s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, certainly took on a challenging job when he took over the leadership of the party from Deniz Baykal in May.
?The constitutional amendments are a considerable change, but as long as the ideology of the constitution remains the same, these changes will not be able to meet the human rights requirements or democratic needs, of Turkey,? Öztürk Türkdoğan, the chairman of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD), told Today’s Zaman in an exclusive interview.
An extended period during which all political parties engaged in holding public rallies with regards to the referendum about constitutional reform came to its end one week ago. As the package proposed by the government was overwhelmingly endorsed by the Turkish people, Turkey would now be expected to have entered much calmer political waters. However, already now the next general elections scheduled for July 2011 are looming on the horizon.