Gul calls for new constitution befitting EU candidate Turkey
Turkey needs a brand-new constitution in line with the needs of our time, befitting a country that aims to become a full member of the European Union, and meeting its demands in all areas, including economic ones, President Abdullah Gul said yesterday. Gul, in New York to attend the 65th session of the UN General Assembly, made the remarks to a group of senior Turkish journalists, answering their questions on major issues facing Turkey. Saying that Turkey should make draw up a constitution with firm self-confidence, Gul criticized Turkey's last two constitutions, in 1960 and 1980, as being too restrictive, because they were drafted with a reactive approach. Stressing the need for a thoroughly civilian constitution, Gul said it should be drafted with calm, common sense, and abundant self-confidence, so it can avoid being reactive. Piecemeal constitutional changes are problematic, Gul said, stressing the importance of a comprehensive approach. Asked about demands that the rights and freedoms of Turkey's Kurdish citizens be expanded, Gul said a new constitution could address such issues with flexibility. Gul also called for more dialogue among Turkey's political parties, saying this is needed to better tackle a number of critical problems. Turkey needs a new language for politics, he added.