Minorities to help new charter

minorities-to-help-new-charter-2011-11-27_l1.jpgGöksel Bozkurt
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Kart says it is important to solicit the views of minorities on the new charter
Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission has used the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne to determine the list of minority community foundations set to participate in drafting the new charter, while the religious community foundations were picked based on “legal status, respectability and the condition of working on the constitution.”
“In addition to the Treaty of Lausanne, we will also take into consideration the Turkish Civil Code. It would not be right to give names, but we will gravitate toward the foundations that are respected by citizens. We find it important to reflect the views of minorities in the new constitution,” Atilla Kart, a commission member in the ranks of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

“There are certain platforms that are accepted by society. There are some platforms that have an influence over society and are conducting work on the issue of the new constitution. We will take their views into consideration as long as they are legal,” Kart said, which could be interpreted as giving the Fethullah Gülen community a chance to contribute to the new constitution.

“Of course we will not listen to religious communities such as the Naqshbandi or the İsmail Ağa communities. They are not legal,” Kart said.

The three sub-commissions that will meet with the minority representatives are scheduled to convene today to select the foundations that will make it on the list.

Kart said some organizations, such as the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), Social Democracy Foundation (SODEV) and the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats (TEMA), have serious ideas about the new constitution, and the commission wants such ideas to be reflected in the new charter.

The commission’s list will be finalized this week, and they will choose from a list including 77 Greek, 52 Armenian, 19 Jewish, 10 Assyrian, three Chaldean, two Georgian, one Bulgarian and one Minority Craftsman foundations