The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will accelerate efforts to change parliamentary bylaws in line with the constitutional changes approved in the April 16 referendum now that the Ramadan Holiday is over, sources within the party said.
The sources said Parliament will not be closed for the holidays until the work on the bylaws finishes. AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Bülent Turan said the party is looking at the situation as a process to make Parliament a more democratic environment for deputies.
Responding to allegations that the opposition will be silenced with the new changes, Turan said that the AK Party is taking steps bearing in mind that they may be the opposition party in the future as well. "Why would we silence the voice of the opposition? The AK Party is not a party that will stay in power forever. We will be the opposition one day as well," he said.
Republican People's Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chairman Levent Gök said on Monday that the changes to the parliamentary bylaws should be made carefully. Gök explained that the CHP is ready to lend support in making changes in line with their terms.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli said over the weekend that it is not possible for the MHP, "a party that changed the constitution," to stay outside the process of changing the bylaws.
"We talked about the issue of bylaws at the executive board meeting. We will also talk about it at the Central Executive Board on Thursday," Bahçeli said.
The parties in Parliament must make adjustments in the bylaws in accordance with the new executive presidential system. Sources within the AK Party previously said that preparations were being made for this.
Parliament speaker İsmail Kahraman also previously stressed the significance of focusing on changing the parliamentary bylaws. Speaking a couple days after the April 16 referendum, Kahraman said the first priority for Parliament would be the bylaws.
While Turkey's ruling parties have often complained about the lengthy process Parliament goes through to pass laws, opposition parties grew frustrated with the lack of a control mechanism. Political sources previously claimed that the AK Party came to common terms with the nationalist MHP on changing the bylaws. The two parties brought the constitutional amendment to Parliament in the first place. The AK Party and the MHP campaigned in favor of the constitutional changes in the run-up to the referendum.
So far, there have been many attempts to reshape parliamentary bylaws. The current parliamentary bylaws were approved on March 5, 1973, and took effect on Sept. 1, 1973. However, parties have made efforts to change the bylaws more than 150 times since.