New legislative year begins with busy agenda awaiting Turkish lawmakers

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 01.10.2018 00:00
Updated 01.10.2018 00:13

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey's second legislative year of the 27th term begins today. On the Parliament's agenda will be the necessary regulations for the new presidential governing system, the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) amnesty proposal and extending the government's authority for cross-border operations in northern Iraq and Syria.

The first session in Parliament's General Assembly will be chaired by Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım at 2 p.m. local time. Following this, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will deliver a speech for the opening of the new legislative year.

As the new presidential governance system necessitates some regulations to be made to the bylaws, discussions regarding the issue are expected to be on the top of the agenda.

Last week five political parties agreed to make technical changes to the bylaws and they will start working toward this with the opening of Parliament when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will also present its draft.

The MHP's draft bill seeking amnesty for some prisoners will be on the agenda as well. T

he MHP submitted its draft bill on Sept. 24 to the Parliament speaker's office. Party officials stressed that a total of 162,989 prisoners would benefit from the amnesty.

Accordingly, crimes committed before May 19 will be subject to conditional reduced sentences, while crimes committed against the state, terrorism, sexual abuse and murder will be excluded from the bill.

In relation to the issue, President Erdoğan stated previously that the draft can be discussed. Yet, he said that the crimes committed against individuals cannot be pardoned by the state, underlining that only those who were harmed by these crimes can pardon the perpetrators.

Another issue that will be debated in Parliament is whether to extend the government's authority to use the Turkish military in cross-border operations in norther Iraq and Syria.

Previously, on Sept. 19, the Turkish Presidency submitted a motion to Parliament to extend the government's authority to use the Turkish military in cross-border operations in northern Iraq and Syria for one more year.

The motion, which was submitted by the government, had previously allowed the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations from Oct. 31, 2017 until Oct. 30, 2018. The motion stated that Turkey attaches great importance to the protection of Iraq's territorial integrity, national unity and stability.

Turkey's efforts to fight against terror threats posed from northern Iraq continue while it also maintains efforts in the de-escalation zone in Syria's Idlib.

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