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Erdogan’s constitution ambitions refuse to fade

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting at the presidential palace in the capital, Ankara, August 12, 2015. (© AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to push ahead with his bid for a new constitution in the country that would give executive powers to the presidency.

“There is a president with de facto power in the country, not a symbolic one. The president should conduct his duties for the nation directly, but within his authority. Whether one accepts it or not, Turkey’s administrative system has changed,” Erdogan said in the Black Sea province of Rize on Friday, AFP reported.

“Now, what should be done is to update this de facto situation in the legal framework of the constitution,” he added.

He also described the Justice and Development Party (AKP) as a “symbol of honesty.”

High expectations, low resources

In order for such a constitutional change, the AKP will have to gain a majority in the parliament that could vote for an amendment. The Turkish party failed to maintain its majority in the parliamentary elections of June 7 and has been forced to seek an alliance with its rival, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Turkish Prime Minister and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ahmet Davutoglu (R) meets with the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu (L), during coalition talks in the capital, Ankara, August 13, 2015. (© AFP)

However, talks between the AKP and CHP aimed at agreeing on a coalition collapsed on Thursday, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying snap polls would now be the “only option.”

The two parties, which are known for an old and deep rivalry, are too far from one another on such major issues as the role of the president, foreign policy and education.

Davutoglu still faces a deadline of August 23 to agree to a coalition government, according to the Turkish constitution.


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