Turkey's ruling and opposition parties said that the country is determined to fight against terror while calling upon the international community to support Turkey's fight against terrorist organizations. Speaking at his party's weekly group meeting at Parliament on Tuesday, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Chairman Binali Yıldırım said that terrorism is not just Turkey's problem but a problem for the whole world. "We have a request for the international community: Do not hesitate in the face of terrorism. We are facing the same terrorist groups. Turkey has struggled against the PKK for 40 years now. Besides the PKK we are facing terrorist groups like Daesh, FETÖ [Gülenist Terror Group], the PYD [Democratic Union Party] and the DHKP-C [Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-front]," Yıldırım said yesterday.
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli described terrorism as "a crime against humanity" and stated that terrorist organizations are aiming to break Turkey's national unity. Bahçeli also added that the Ortaköy attack cannot be considered separately from the recent Turkey and Russia-brokered cease-fire agreement in Syria. "Turkey's cooperation with Russia regarding Syria is a valuable initiative and the Örtaköy attacker, who is closely linked with foreign intelligence agencies, targeted Turkey's struggle for national survival. However, Turkey will not bow to terrorist organizations, whatever they do," Bahçeli said on Tuesday.
MHP leader Bahçeli to back new constitution bill
Meanwhile MHP leader Bahçeli announced yesterday that he will back a parliamentary bill to change the country's constitution. Responding to journalists' questions after a MHP parliamentary group meeting in Ankara, Devlet Bahçeli said: "I will give a Yes vote to the new constitutional bill and I will repeat it in the referendum." The move — the first open commitment of support for the bill by the MHP leader — could bring the potential transition to a presidential system one step closer. The government has said it would put the constitutional changes to a referendum, even if the proposals gained enough support from lawmakers to pass through Parliament. The new constitutional bill needs 330 votes to pave the way for a referendum. The AK Party has 316 seats and the MHP has 39 seats in Parliament.
Debates on constitution bill start on Monday
Prime Minister Yıldırım has confirmed that debates on the parliamentary bill to change the country's constitution will start next Monday. "From the coming Monday, we will start to debate our constitutional change bill in Parliament," Yıldırım said. With support from the AK Party and MHP, it is expected that the constitutional amendment will likely be passed in the General Assembly before the end of January, after which a referendum for the amendment package will be expected to take place in the spring of 2017.
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