New Turkish Bill Seeks To Expand President Erdogan’s Powers

Erdogan's Powers

Turkish Bill Seeks To Expand Erdogan’s Powers

The constitutional reform proposal accepted by the Turkish Parliament on Saturday has been a source of much controversy for many months. Supporters and opponents of the proposal have been in heated debates and protests nationwide. These reforms would significantly increase President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, allowing him to maintain his party’s connections and revamp the nation’s highest judicial body, among other modifications.

Those who back the reforms say that a robust presidency is needed to create a strong Turkey that can confront internal and external security threats. On the other hand, Erdogan’s adversaries view the reforms as a move toward autocracy and an amalgamation of his powers.

This vote comes amid a period of political ambiguity in Turkey, which has experienced a string of terrorist attacks, a botched coup attempt in July 2016, and a crackdown on dissent that has alarmed human rights groups and Western governments.

The Turkish government attributes the attempted coup to Fethullah Gulen supporters, a U.S.-based cleric Ankara claims leads a “terrorist organization” aiming to overthrow the government. Since the coup attempt, more than 100,000 civil servants have been fired for their alleged connection to Gulen’s movement.

The referendum on the constitutional reforms is expected to occur in late March or mid-April. Should it pass, the changes would become effective following the 2019 presidential election. Source



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