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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More