PM Yıldırım: Constitutional package expected to be submitted by end of January
by Daily Sabah
ANKARANov 26, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Nov 26, 2016 12:00 am
Turkey's long debated constitutional amendment package that would allow the country to switch to a presidential system from the parliamentary system will be in Parliament in the coming days and it is expected to be legislated by the end of January, Prime Minister Binalı Yıldırım said on Thursday.
Speaking on TV, Prime Minister Yıldırım said that they have reached mutual understanding over 15 articles in their talks with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the constitutional amendment package that covers changes in these articles will be in the Parliament by the end of January.
Yıldırım also indicated that a public referendum on the amendment package might take place in March.
‘‘We will reach a compromise [with MHP] in a very short time, within days, and this amendment package will come to the parliamentary commission first and then to the general assembly,'' Yıldırım said. "We are expecting to conclude this legal process by the end of January, and the public referendum may take place in March.''
Yıldırım also said Turkey would "definitely" not be holding an early election, emphasizing that a presidential election and a parliamentary election will be carried out in 2019.
"After 2019, the presidential system will virtually be in full force and effect. By then, the transition process will be completed. Thousands of pieces of legislation will be renewed," he said.
Turkey's relation with sco not a challenge to the EUYıldırım also addressed Turkey's developing relations with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). He said that Turkey's relations with the organization were neither a threat nor a challenge to the European Union.
"Far Eastern countries, including China, Russia and Middle Asian countries want their relations [with Turkey] to develop, both economically and politically. We also want to improve our relations," he said.
Yıldırım added that Turkey had not put forward the idea of being a member of the Eurasian political, economic, and military alliance as a back-up plan in case its EU membership bid is rejected.
Criticism of European motion
Yıldırım also slammed the European Parliament motion that urged the EU to halt accession talks with Ankara.
"The EU should see it. If Turkish-EU relations worsen, that will harm the European Union more than us," Yıldırım said.
Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees in the world, and has so far spent more than $20 billion for their care, according to Yıldırım. Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. Since then, more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to U.N. figures.