Approval of constitutional reforms sign of desire for more democracy - Turkish FM
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the approval of a raft of constitutional amendments in a referendum on Sunday in Turkey reflected once again the desire of the Turkish people for more freedoms and to live in a more democratic order that conformed to the standards of the European Union, Anadolu Agency reported.
Davutoglu said in a written statement that the turnout in referendum was over 77 percent despite calls for a boycott, adding that the approval of the reform package was a step taken towards a more democratic constitution.
"Above all, this result is the product of the Turkish people's interest in the reforms process in Turkey carried out in light of the universal norms and the European norms. The 57.8 percent voter support for reforms is important for the strengthening of the Turkish democracy, for a louder voice for the people and the Turkish parliament," he said.
Davutoglu said the constitutional amendments introduced a number of new rights as well as expanding current constitutional rights and it launched more powerful mechanisms to protect those rights.
The Turkish foreign minister said the amendments were designed to secure that Turkey's Constitutional Court and its Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors conformed to the standards set by their counterparts in the democratic world as well as to limit the jurisdiction of the military courts.
Davutoglu said the amendments introduced constitutional guarantees for positive discrimination for women, children, the elderly and the disabled.
Davutoglu said the implementation of the constitutional reforms would help Turkey meet to a great extent the EU criteria on the negotiation chapter over Judiciary and Basic Rights, adding that the approval of the reform package would accelerate the pace of Turkey's membership process.