The highlights fromTurkish president President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's speech are as follows:
My dear fellow citizens, esteemed president, esteemed members of parliament, I greet you all with the deepest feelings of my heart.
I wish the 8th term and 2nd legislative year of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye to be especially beneficial for our country and our nation. I thank our citizens who, in the elections held on May 14th and 28th, freely expressed their will at the ballot box, thereby strengthening our democracy. I congratulate the members of the parliament of the 28th term once again.
I remember with respect Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of the Grand National Assembly and the founding father of our national will. I thank everyone who has worked tirelessly for the growth and strengthening of Türkiye , regardless of their titles.
I commemorate our martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the defense of our homeland and the preservation of our state. May God grant paradise to all our martyrs.
I wish success to all members of parliament who will serve our country and our nation under this roof.
We expect works of thought that befit our national goal, the Turkish Century, under this roof. This is the greatest legacy of our national treasury, this esteemed institution.
I believe that the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye , which has been honored with the title of "gazilik" (heroism) twice, first during the national struggle and secondly on July 15th, is a special institution among all parliaments.
There is still a long way to go for our Republic, which indicates that we have much work to do. The Turkish Republic, which is described as the protector of the helpless, will achieve this characteristic in the Turkish Century. As the whole nation and its representatives, we must embrace our differences and turn them into richness. We have laid the groundwork for the steps to be taken in this regard by completing the shortcomings of our democracy. The days when prime ministers and ministers were sent to the gallows are behind us.
The epic of July 15th, which we wrote together, is therefore a turning point. We have a new era and opportunity ahead of us. This is a new and civilian constitution. Only in this way can we fulfill the saying written behind the presidential lecture in the hall: "Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the nation."
It is clear that the constitution, which has been patched with minor changes over its 41-year history, cannot carry Türkiye of 2023. In fact, the issue of a new constitution has been on the country's agenda for over ten years. Even though it was left incomplete, the steps were taken. As the People's Alliance, we made our preparations in 2021. Then we invited political parties, but our invitation did not receive a response.
Those who complain did not want to step out of their comfort zones. We have not lost hope. Every constitution has its own story. Today, for the first time, we believe that the conditions in our country are suitable for preparing a democratic constitution. The maturity level of Turkish democracy is sufficient to put an end to the bad tradition that began with the 1960 coup.
A constitution that does not encompass the common past of the state and the nation will not benefit the country. We invite all parties, deputies, and social groups to join our call for a new constitution with a constructive approach. Anyone who desires a national, local, civil, and visionary constitution is the target of this call. We can discuss and decide together. We just need to approach the country's red lines correctly. When we achieve this, we will overcome all issues. This is the constitution that the Turkish nation, which resisted the coup plotters, rightfully deserves. Türkiye deserves a constitution that opens up the horizons of society, not one that lags behind. This noble nation, which stood against coup plotters, deserves to crown democracy with a civilian constitution in the Republic's centenary.
With the new constitution, we will have the opportunity to put an end to debates about the system of government. We provide all kinds of facilitation for the work on the Türkiye Century Constitution. We expect the same approach from other parties.
The earthquake, which affected 14 million people in 11 of our cities and caused 50,000 deaths, is one of the biggest disasters in our recent history. There is no other example of a state that has recovered so quickly and provided housing services in the face of such a large-scale disaster that has affected so many people. There may have been some shortcomings, and there may still be some.
However, the unity and solidarity displayed by our people will be an example to all of humanity throughout the centuries. As a state, we have allocated all our resources to the reconstruction of the region.
We will soon start delivering earthquake houses to their rightful owners. Our top priority is to heal the wounds in the earthquake-stricken areas. The cost of the earthquake is estimated to be $105 billion.
We have weathered the pandemic crisis with minimal damage. The consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war, which has disrupted the global economy, continue to manifest in various ways. There are difficulties in every field, from food to energy, from trade to employment. No one can clearly see the future. As Turkey, we are also affected by these adverse developments. We are focusing on policies that take into account the threats in the coming period. Our strategy to grow our country continues to be the backbone of our economic policy.
The issue of the terrorist organization, which has imposed heavy human and economic costs on our country for 40 years, has been resolved within our borders. We also want to eliminate its presence outside our borders and prevent it from being a source of threat to our country. In this context, we are preparing to further advance the political and military achievements we have obtained in recent years. We will continue our struggle until the last terrorist is neutralized both inside and outside our borders.
We will not allow the terrorist organization to direct politics and hinder our country's righteous march. The operation this morning, which resulted in the elimination of two terrorists, is the final gasp of the terrorist organization. Those who threaten the peace and security of our citizens have not achieved and will never achieve their goals.
We will not allow propaganda to be made by using art to undermine our national will. I believe we owe this to our nation, which stopped tanks with bare hands on the night of July 15th.
We have kept every promise we made to the EU, while they have failed to fulfill nearly all the promises they made to us. There has been no change in the EU's biased attitude towards our country. They treat our country unfairly with an approach that ignores the principles and processes they have put forward.
We do not have any expectations from the EU, which we have been kept waiting at its door for 60 years. They need to turn back from the injustices they have imposed on us, starting with the visa imposition. If they do not, they will completely lose the right to expect anything from us. If necessary, we will establish Ankara criteria if they do not fulfill the Copenhagen criteria.