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    Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara

    Turkish Parliament Speaker Urges to Abandon Secular Constitution

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    Turkey needs to scrap secularism from its constitution in favor of Islamic principles, Turkish Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman said.

    President Erdogan (L) welcomes King Salman bin Abdulaziz at Esenboga International airport in Ankara, April 11, 2016.
    © REUTERS / Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace
    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkey's first constitution was adopted in 1921 under the influence of the first president of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who abolished the Sultanate and adopted principles of secularization and modernization. The constitution was modified in 1924, and later in 1961, before the current constitution was adopted in 1982.

    In its founding principles, the 1982 constitution asserts that Turkey is secular, democratic and is a republic. The constitution’s Article 4 bans any modifications to these founding principles.

    “As a Muslim country, why should we be in a situation where we are retreating from religion? We are a Muslim country. So we must have a religious constitution,” Kahraman said while addressing an Islamic academics' and writers' conference in Istanbul on Monday, as quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper.

    Kahraman belongs to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey's AKP-dominated government has been repeatedly criticized by the country's secular NGOs and political parties, such as the Turkish Communist Party, for the process of Islamization that undermines the secular nature of Turkish statehood.

    “A description of secularism shouldn’t be in the new constitution. France, Ireland and Turkey have constitutions that include a description of secularism. But everyone interprets it the way they want to. That shouldn’t be the case," Kahraman stressed.

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