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Turkey: Constitutional Changes to Increase Erdogan’s Power

Turkey: Constitutional Changes to Increase Erdogan’s Power

Ankara: Turkey’s ruling Party is set to make constitutional changes to formally increase President Tayyip Erdogan’s powers by creating an executive presidency.

“The party will meet the nationalist opposition to iron out details,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday.
The AKP needs the support of the nationalist MHP party, in order to achieve the majority needed in parliament to trigger a referendum on the issue.

“We will meet one more time with (MHP leader Devlet) Bahceli and give this (constitutional) change its final shape,” Yildirim told a parliamentary meeting of his party.
“Significant progress had been made in their talks and we believe the bill will be sent to the constitutional commission once “one or two” issues overcome,” said Earlier, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Bahceli.

Officials who have seen a draft of the reform told Reuters earlier this month that Erdogan could govern Turkey until 2029 under the proposal.

Erdogan’s supporters say “Turkey needs a strong executive presidency, akin to the system in the United States or France, to avoid fragile coalition governments that hampered development in the past.”

The country also faces threats from war across the border in Syria and Iraq and turmoil following the coup bid.

On the contrary, Opponents fear it will increase authoritarianism in a country which is already attaining deteriorating records on rights and freedoms.

The head of parliament’s constitutional commission, AKP’s Mustafa Sentop, said his party would submit the constitutional reform draft to parliament within two weeks, Dogan news agency reported.

“We will present a constitutional change for our people’s approval in a referendum in the spring months,” he told a university conference in northwest Turkey on Monday.