Nationalist Movement Party’s red lines

The Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, has prepared a draft for the new constitution following the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP. The MHP has extremely distinct red lines regarding the new constitution. The MHP also, just like the CHP, does not want three articles to be “touched.” The three article mentioned include the form of the state, the features of the republic, the integrity, the official language, the flag, the national anthem and the capital city.

Deputies of the The Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, listen to a speech by President Abdullah Gül on the first day of the new parliamentary year.DHA Photo.

Deputies of the The Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, listen to a speech by President Abdullah Gül on the first day of the new parliamentary year.DHA Photo.

Another sensitivity of the MHP emerges at the point of “Turkish identity.” It wants the Turkish identity to be protected; it opposes any arrangement that recognizes political and legal status for various ethnic identities. It argues that the unitary status based on “one nation-one state” in the constitution should be kept as it is.

Instruction in mother tongue is another one of its bold red lines. The MHP defends education in Turkish and opposes another language for education being included in the constitution.

The MHP, which absolutely wants the unitary structure to be maintained, does not want powers to be assigned to local governments that may appear like a federation or autonomy. It opposes the concept of “being from Turkey” ever entering the constitution.

The MHP is also not very open to the change in the definition of being a “Turk” in the constitution. The MHP, which does not agree to substitute the Turkish nation concept with the bond of citizenship, rather, it opts for the existing arrangement to be kept.

The MHP, which defends parliamentary immunity, also wants the president’s immunity. It also says that the parliamentary system should absolutely be maintained, totally rejecting the presidential system.

The MHP will also support an arrangement in the constitution to lift the headscarf ban in universities.

The MHP will defend these sensitivities in the commission. The latest whispers in Ankara corridors are that in the case that the MHP’s red lines are crossed, then it will withdraw from the commission.

Sunday, October 2, 2011
Göksel Bozkurt