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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid