Turkey's President Erdogan is grabbing yet more power

President Erdogan would be able to act by decree under proposed amendments to Turkey’s constitution Brendan McDermid  Reuters

President Erdogan would be able to act by decree under proposed amendments to Turkey’s constitution Brendan McDermid Reuters

Opponents have accused Erdogan of marching towards authoritarian rule, comparing the executive presidency to sultans of the Ottoman Empire. In Turkey's system, amendments to the constitution need to be approved by 367 of 550 members to become law.

In the referendum, the proposed changes will then be sent to a public vote, and if it receives the majority's support, will be implemented.

"Turkey's drift towards authoritarianism will accelerate in 2017".

With the reforms, the president will be allowed to retain ties to a political party, potentially allowing Erdogan to resume his leadership of the AK Party, in a move that opposition parties say will abolish any chance of impartiality. "If they are not happy with President Erdogan, they can vote him out".

Ravza Kavakci Kan, a lawmaker from the Justice and Development Party, was photographed during one of the brawls, standing aside with her arms folded and wearing a look of disgust. Yildirim said January 17 that his party was making the changes together with MHP.

The bill envisions granting the office of the presidency - now a largely ceremonial position - the power to appoint government ministers and senior officials, dissolve parliament, declare states of emergency, issue decrees and appoint half of the members in the country's highest judicial body. The HDP also demanded that their leaders and representatives jailed on "terrorism-related" charges be allowed to cast votes - a request that was ignored.

Turkey will hold a referendum on whether to greatly expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office. This raises concerns on "further interference in economic policy making by an ever-more-powerful Erdogan". Leader of the CHP, Kilicdaroglu, called on the people to "spoil the game that was played in the parliament". The constitutional reforms will found a presidential system in place of the current parliamentary one. But when respondents were asked to assume that the nationalist opposition MHP backed the changes, the tally of "yes" votes rose to 55.1 percent.

Erdogan assumed the presidency, a largely ceremonial position, in 2014 after over a decade as prime minister.

Turkey has also been hit by a spate of deadly bombings and gun attacks by Islamic State and Kurdish militants over the past year and a half.

"People will have the final say", he told them.

Article 13, prevents the formation of military courts, and only military personnel who commit a war crime will stand trial in said courts.

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