ARTICLE 70 REWRITTEN
The AK Party presented two proposals for the new constitution that could be considered revolutionary for Turkey. The first of which was involving changes to the article on 'entering public service'. The 70th article of the 1982 Constitution states "Every Turk has the right to enter public service. No distinctions beyond the qualifications required for the duty can be made on those who enter public service." The AK Party proposes that this article read instead, "Every citizen has the right to enter public service. No conditions other than merit will be required." Prof. Dr. Ergun Özbudun, who prepared a constitutional proposal for the AK Party following the 2007 elections, says, "This measure is one that would pave the way for headscarves to be worn in public service. If the commission accepts this proposal and the amendment is made, public servants will officially be allowed to wear headscarves."
The AK Party's second proposal is one that would alter the intrinsic value that has been in place up until now when it comes to fundamental rights and liberties, which is putting 'liberties' ahead of 'the state'. The AK Party's proposal is for a measure to be included in the constitution which states, "In the case of uncertainty, freedom should be favored as a basis for decision-making."
A STANCE FAVORING FREEDOM
According to the AK Party's proposal, when a law or item in the constitution is not precisely clear, it would need to be evaluated based on freedom rather than authority. In other words, the stance to be taken will be in favor of freedoms and not the state. This includes cases opened regarding an appeal for an amendment by the Constitutional Court and individual applications. If there is a discrepancy amongst articles in the constitution, then the article which is based on freedoms will be favored in the decision-making process. This measure would make it required for all administrations and courts to favor freedoms in any decision-making process or action.
This is a translation of an article originally written by Zübeyde Yalçın.