Turkey needs religious constitution, parliament speaker says

April 26, 2016 10:06


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Overwhelmingly Muslim Turkey needs a "religious" constitution and secularism should be dropped from the country's new charter, parliament's speaker said, marking a potential rupture with the modern republic's founding principles.

The ruling AK Party, which has roots in political Islam, is pushing for a new constitution to replace the existing charter, which dates back to the period after a 1980 military coup.

Critics fear it could concentrate too much power in the hands of President Tayyip Erdogan, who wants an executive presidency to replace the current parliamentary system. The government has pledged that European standards on human rights will form the basis of the new text.

"For one thing, the new constitution should not have secularism," parliament speaker Ismail Kahraman said in a speech late on Monday, according to videos published by Turkish media.

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