The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Chairman and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Tuesday that the party's proposal for a new constitution will be finalized this week after discussions with all political parties. ''I hope to accomplish this [the new Turkish Constitution] with the participation of all political parties,'' Yıldırım said speaking at the AK Party's weekly group meeting in Parliament. ''The changes that we will introduce with the new constitution will make Turkey's coalition periods history. [In Turkey] there will always be a strong administration. As the AK Party, we will fulfill our promise [to the Turkish people]," he added.
Discussions about the impending changes grew heated several weeks ago when Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli signaled that the MHP would support constitutional changes if they address party politics and sensitivities relevant to the MHP.
Last week, Prime Minister Yıldırım and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a meeting with the MHP leader, reportedly discussing the widely debated presidential system and the establishment of a new constitution.
Accordingly, the AK Party has prepared two different constitutional amendment packages, the first of which consists of 17 articles which include a full presidential system and articles that stipulate the regulations regarding parliamentary transition periods.
The AK Party's second amendment package consists of 59 articles and is considered a more comprehensive package, designed to replace all articles of the current 1982 Constitution which was written by military junta after the 1980 coup in Turkey.
Currently, the AK Party has 317 seats in Parliament while the MHP has 40. The combined number of seats between these two parties is not enough for the proposal to pass directly through Parliament. However, if the proposal receives between 330 and 366 votes, the constitutional
change can be moved to a referendum, pushing the AK Party to reach an agreement with opposition MHP.
Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday filed a complaint against the CHP's declaration following the detention of HDP deputies. The president reportedly filed the complaint due to alleged insults in the declaration.
Opposition MHP leader voices support for detention of HDP deputiesThe leader of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli has voiced support for the detention of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies.
"The fundamental duty of the state is to bring people who say 'I do not recognize the law' to justice," said Bahçeli.
"Qandil's law is not valid here, but Turkey's law is," stressed Bahçeli referring to the Qandil Mountains in northeastern Iraq where the PKK terrorist organization is known to have camps and its headquarters.
"Nobody should forget […] that betrayal to Turkey has never gone unpunished," said Bahçeli.
Since last Friday, a total of 10 HDP lawmakers, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, were remanded in custody for failing to answer public prosecutors' summons concerning an ongoing counterterrorism probe.
Diyarbakır deputies Ziya Pir and İmam Tasçıer, and Ankara Deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder were released under judicial control.
"Being elected does not give the right to aid and abet in a crime," said Bahçeli, adding that those who wanted to topple the constitutional order could not be forgiven.
Bahçeli also criticized the main opposition the Republican People's Party's (CHP) position on the arrests.
"Considering this as an occasion of mourning by the CHP is not reciprocated in the nation's conscience," he said.The CHP has said the arrests were "against the Constitution."
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