Turkey needs a new Constitution, said the President of the country Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He’s trying to make a plan on turning a parliamentary Republic into a presidential, securing the full authority. Earlier attempts to amend the Constitution were cut at the root still in the Parliament. But the worsening of relations with Russia change the situation.
Turkey’s ruling Party justice and development, the informal leader of which is the country’s President, Recep Erdogan, is preparing to bring up for discussion in Parliament the draft of the new Constitution of the country. The main change sought by the AKP for a few years – the change of form of government from a parliamentary to a presidential one. Thus, Erdogan will be able to consolidate the government, which in recent years had feared his political opponents.
“After the incident, that nationalist frenzy, Erdogan hopes to achieve full power”
An attempt to change the Constitution is made in Turkey not for the first time, but never she did not succeed. However, now the situation is changing: after a tough Russian response to the claims because of the downed su-24 bomber support of Erdogan is growing.
“I’m worried about the best management of this country and move our people to the larger goals. Turkey can no longer continue with this system”, – said Erdogan on Friday, reports the Turkish newspaper Milliyet. The President also added that the public expressed support for constitutional reform. “Our people have already expressed a strong will on the question of a new Constitution, and no party, no politician will be able to stay indifferent to this”, – he said, already turning more to his opponents in the government than to the people themselves.
Response to Erdogan’s words followed immediately, from the oldest of his opponents from the Republican people’s party. “We’re not saying this subject can not be discussed. Tell people what you mean by a presidential system, so he understood. We also advocated a parliamentary system”, – said the leader of CHP, Kemal kılıçdaroğlu, a staunch enemy of Erdogan, TV channel Haberturk.
Another opposition Party, the nationalist movement is also not happy about the prospects of changing the form of government. “Erdogan has plans of implementing the secret agenda. The question of a new Constitution should be excluded from the discussion. Turkey will not be able to move the presidential system,” – said the leader of the nationalists, Ismet Buyukataman.
The opinion of the peoples Democratic party on this score was made by Selahattin the other two in the summer, after the AKP after the elections lost its parliamentary majority. “A discussion on the presidential system has been completed”, said demirtaş, whose party for the first time were able to get seats in the Majlis. – Now talking about the presidential form of government, dictatorship is over. Turkey was able to step away from the cliff,” he said in June. Then still nobody assumed that in the autumn re-run of the elections, Erdogan will return to his party’s parliamentary majority.
A disaster or a great success?
Now in order to amend the Constitution, must first endorse the draft amendments in Parliament, and after putting it to popular vote. After the elections, the AKP took 317 seats in the Majlis that gave her the opportunity to form a single-party Cabinet, but not allowed to single-handedly amend the Constitution. She needs to coordinate with the government Commission, which includes representatives of the opposition. If the party received 330 seats, it could make the issue to a referendum without the consent of a parliamentary Committee. And if she managed to get 367 seats, that is 2/3 of the Majlis, there would be no need to even ask the opinion of the people to amend the Constitution would be possible by a simple decision of the Parliament.
At first glance, Erdogan was in the same situation as in previous years – matching the government will be hard to achieve. But on the hand he now plays another factor is the opinion of the people, which will be demonstrated at the referendum.
The worsening situation in Syria has affected Turkey the most direct way is stirred up Kurdish social movement, more and more activities have become of a group banned in the country of the PKK. In summer, security forces have caught more than a thousand people, which, according to them, one way or another were connected with the Kurdish military forces. This caused extreme dissatisfaction in the areas bordering Syria. The attacks occurred in the periphery and in the capital and other major cities.
Erdogan also took advantage of the instability to their advantage by starting to combine the potential voters calling for the preservation of national unity. The threat of disintegration of the country, as well as the existence of external enemies has been so potent a factor that Erdogan’s party is actually for a few months was able to increase his popularity and to take revenge, returning to its former position.
In November, the ranks of the “enemies of the Turkish state” was quickly recorded and Russia. Downed Turkish fighter jet Russian su-24 has caused a flurry of criticism of Erdogan to Russia, Syria and Iran. However, within the country where the reaction was quite mixed. Anti-Russian demonstrations swept through Turkey, and the harsh rhetoric of Erdogan found support among the electorate. Power politics, which is respected in the East, raised the rating of the President.
“The main source of threats to Russia will be called”
“From that moment on, Erdogan became President, the Party of justice and development holds the society in suspense. They made a truce with the Kurds, then ripped it, then began the chaos, the terror – like in conversation with the newspaper LOOK Director of the research center “the middle East – the Caucasus”, the expert Stanislav Tarasov. – Then they got into the fight against ISIS, and in their scenario. Now there is a war not only in Iraq and Syria, and outright civil war in the South-Eastern vilayets”.
The total tension in the country is played by the ruling elite, headed by Erdogan in his own interests. “They throw the cry – “the Fatherland is in danger!”. And in order to save the Fatherland, it is necessary to take certain steps. Mentioned external enemies: this was the West. It is now expected that the main source of threats to call Russia”, – said Tarasov.
Downed su-24 was almost a gift to Erdogan. “After the incident, that nationalist frenzy, Erdogan hopes to achieve full power,” – said the expert.
This interviewee does not think that the President can so easily deceive the public, especially given that she’s in Turkey are very heterogeneous. “Society here has passed the democratic vaccinated. Despite all the repression, the ruling party has failed completely to suppress opposition media. Turkish society is split about 50-50,” he explains.
However, that part of society which was loyal to the configured mode, to start more actively to advocate for Erdogan. “Some part of society, pan-Turkic tuned, of course, is rallying around him – confirms Tarasov. – It fools people because they often lack access to reliable information. But that’s not all of society” – emphasizes the expert.
The AKP is taking another step
The reform of the Constitution began to prepare already then, when it became clear that Recep Erdogan takes the presidency. During this time, the AKP has repeatedly tried to “drag” the amendments through Parliament, but has always faced resistance from the opposition. The irreconcilable question is, of course, changing the form of government. None of the representatives of the opposition do not want to give up power in the hands of the President, especially in the face of authoritarian Erdogan. And the AKP learned from the mistakes, decided to take a winding path.
Monday, 14 December, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that it is planned to hold two separate referendum. The purpose of the first of them will change some paragraphs of the Constitution, not concerning the form of government. And in the second referendum, the people will Express their opinion with respect to the transition to a presidential form of government.
Davutoglu also said that next week will begin negotiations with the opposition about the points of the new Constitution, including the transition from a parliamentary system to a presidential system. The Prime Minister added that the government plans to hold talks in a peaceful atmosphere, mindful of the tough battles that occurred on this soil earlier.
Erdogan himself also often speaks about the need to abandon the parliamentary form of government. “Look at the world. Almost in all developed countries, or a presidential system or semi-presidential system,” Erdogan was quoted by Reuters in late November.
Another change sought by Erdogan, is an opportunity for the President to be a leader of a political party. At the moment, the Constitution requires political neutrality, which holds that post. If the amendment passes, then Erdogan will not only get enhanced powers, but will regain leadership in the AKP.
Erdogan holds in his hands the power for the past thirteen years. Three consecutive terms – the maximum number under the Constitution – he held the post of Prime Minister and leader of his Party of justice and development. Then, in August 2014, he was nominated for the presidency and won the election. The Prime Minister of the country was occupied by the former Minister of foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu, one of the staunchest supporters of Erdogan, now the President handed over the leadership of the AKP. President Erdogan will be till 2019, then he will undergo another presidential election. To keep in power he intends at least until 2023 when it will celebrate 100 years of the Turkish Republic.
Confidence still not there
Stanislav Tarasov says that two referendums – one on the text of the Constitution, then another one, private, by status as a presidential Republic – is needed in order to reach the goal step by step. “They wanted in a new draft Constitution to run an article about the status of Turkey as a presidential Republic. The opposition didn’t accept it, only agreed on common positions. And the AKP have no confidence that they will receive the necessary two-thirds majority in Parliament to bring the question of changing the form of government to the referendum”, – said the interlocutor.
Changes to the Constitution, except the most important thing for Erdogan, may be approved, however this may leave the President himself sideways. “Now, most likely, will work the General parliamentary Commission, and it is possible that the new Constitution, with the introduction of new democratic rules in Eurostandard, will be held. But it will be a victory for the Prime Minister Davutoglu, who continues to hold power in their hands,” he recalls.
Erdogan and Davutoglu have conflicts, and the introduction of amendments to the Constitution Davutoglu distanciruemsa from the President, the expert said. “If so, we are talking about a hardware revolution, when the government actually starts to concentrate in the hands of the government. Although the Constitution and so it is in his hands, but we must remember that Erdogan everywhere his men seated” – like Tarasov. The foreign policy failures can emerge at the most inconvenient time, he said. “Erdogan may become the scapegoat for all political forces that accuse him of all mortal sins. He is in the trap”, – says the expert.
“Yes, ratings Erdogan grew up, but they keep on nationalist frenzy. I saw a live broadcast from a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers – had to see those sullen, downcast faces. They are well aware of what’s happening in and around the country,” he added.Related posts: