Turkish president urges consensus on new constitution

ISTANBUL - Turkish President Abdullah Gul urged Turkish lawmakers at the opening session of parliament on Saturday to search for consensus on a new liberal constitution so it would be representative.
Pro-Kurdish deputies ended their boycott of parliament to remove a threat to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's plans to rewrite a constitution drafted after a 1980 military coup.
Erdogan's AK Party won a third consecutive term in June and he wants to draft a new constitution, with the opposition's support, by the first half of 2012.
"All segments of the Turkish population, without any exception, have the will for a new constitution," Gul said. "Because everyone is uneasy about the current constitution which does not meet our people's requirements, restricts Turkey's democratic diversity and ignores Turkey's assets.