AKP deputy says constitutional amendment to be proposed within 15 days

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Head of the parliamentary Constitution Commission Mustafa Şentop

Mustafa Şentop, head of the parliamentary Constitution Commission and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) İstanbul deputy, said on Monday that the AKP would bring a proposal to Parliament to amend the constitution in the next 15 days.

Speaking during a conference at Namık Kemal University in Tekirdağ on Monday, Şentop said Turkey is still being ruled by a constitution that was drafted in 1982 by a military junta regime.

We will propose the amendment to Parliament in a maximum 15 days. Following parliamentary procedures, it will be brought to a public vote in a referendum during the spring months,” he said.

Turkey’s ruling AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan strongly support a switch to a presidential system of governance in Turkey. Yet critics say he wants a “Turkish style” executive presidency without checks and balances, one that is aimed at creating one-man rule. AKP officials have said they will soon bring a proposal for a change to the presidential system to Parliament’s agenda.

Late in October, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced that his government had completed work on a change to a presidential system of governance in Turkey and would take a proposal to Parliament as soon as possible. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli had sparked a fresh debate over the introduction of an executive presidency when he said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was already acting like an executive president although his post is largely ceremonial.

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