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Erdogan’s talk of new democratic constitution aims to cement his rule

Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggests the possibility of a newly rewritten Turkish Consitution, sparking debate over his real intentions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling for a new “democratic” constitution to replace the existing document that was drawn up by the country’s generals in the wake of their last hard coup in 1980. “I believe that our new constitution will reflect the popular will and crown the objectives we have set for the 100th anniversary of our republic,” Erdogan said in a Feb. 10 speech.

He has tasked his own party to get to work and invited opposition parties to join in the effort to come up with a text by 2023, the centenary of the modern republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. 2023 is also when the next presidential and parliamentary elections are due to be held. With his popularity sagging, Erdogan faces the prospect of defeat for the first time since his Justice and Development Party (AKP) shot to power in 2002.

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