Davutoglu: "Turkish nation is craving for more democracy"
Sunday's approval of constitutional reforms in a nationwide referendum indicates the Turkish nation's will to live in a freer and more democratic environment on compliance with European Union standards, according to the country's foreign minister. "The approval of the amendment package is an important turning point for democracy in Turkey," Ahmet Davutoglu said in a written statement. "The public turnout at the ratio of 77.1 percent is a result of the Turkish nation's interest in the reform process carried out in the light of universal and European norms," he said. The 57.8 percent support for the new charter was important for a number of reasons, Davutoglu said, as it strengthened democracy in Turkey, allowed people's voices to be heard more loudly and showed the entire world that Turkey was making efforts to create a civilian constitution. The foreign minister said the constitutional amendments introduced new rights and launched more powerful mechanisms to protect those rights. He also said the amendments were designed to ensure that Turkey's Constitutional court and its Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors, or HSYK, conformed to the standards set by their counterparts in the democratic world while they limited the jurisdiction of military courts. The implementation of the constitutional reforms would help Turkey largely meet the EU criteria on the negotiation chapter over the judiciary and basic rights, he said, adding the approval of the package would accelerate Turkey's membership process.