News / Europe

Turkish PM Could Seek Constitutional Referendum

FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a forum in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2012.FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a forum in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2012.
x
FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a forum in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2012.
FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a forum in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 13, 2012.
Reuters
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he will take proposed constitutional reforms, expected to include the creation of an executive presidency, directly to parliament and if necessary to the people if no deal can be reached by April.
 
A cross-party parliamentary commission drafting a new constitution had been expected to finish its work by the start of this year but has failed to reach a consensus.
 
Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics since his AK Party first came to power in 2002, is widely viewed as wanting to change the charter to establish an executive presidency for himself in time for elections due next year.
 
Erdogan said the AK Party would take its proposals for an amended constitution directly to parliament if no agreement had been reached by the end of March.
 
"We are hoping that this matter will be finalized by the end of March ... If it is not completed, the AK Party will bring its work on this to parliament's agenda," he told a meeting of his ruling party deputies in parliament.
 
Approval of constitutional amendments requires two-thirds support in the 550-seat assembly, or 367 votes, which the AK Party, which controls 326 seats, may struggle to achieve.
 
It would need only 60 percent, or 330 votes, for the bill to be put to a referendum, however.
 
"When we have the power to hold a referendum, we will go to the nation," Erdogan said.
 
Politicians from all Turkey's main parties agree Turkey's current constitution, drawn up after a 1980 coup, needs to be revised. But the opposition fears the reforms the AK Party wants will hand Erdogan too much power.
 
The clock is ticking. Local elections are due in March 2014, followed by a presidential vote a few months later and a parliamentary election in 2015.
 
In a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle ahead of that election cycle, Erdogan replaced his interior, tourism, health, and education ministers with close allies last week.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Uocul Sidtra from: Turkey
January 30, 2013 4:52 PM
what you failed to mention, in this flimsy article, is that Erdogan's proposal for a constitutional restructuring will make Turkey look like the Taliban.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs