Ninety-nine former deputies elected from various political parties in Turkey released a statement on Tuesday making a case against switching to an executive presidency and called for “normalization” as concerns over new constitutional amendments run high.
Former deputies including ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) founder Abdullatif Şener and former deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) composer and author Zülfü Livaneli made a call to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as well, stating that the right to declare a state of emergency should be vested in the parliament, not in the executive.
The Turkish Parliament has approved an 18-article constitutional amendment package that will expand the powers of the president, allowing the head of state to even dissolve the parliament.
Former Foreign Minister Yaşar Yakış, former chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP) Nesrin Nas, former head of the CHP Altan Öymen, former European Court of Human Rights judge and CHP deputy Rıza Türmen and Yaşar Okuyan are among the signatories of the statement.
The statement emphasized the importance of the separation of powers and checks and balances since it is feared that the proposed amendment will erode these features of democracy.
The former deputies also pointed out that any amendments made under the state of emergency that was declared in Turkey following an attempted coup on July 15 would be open to discussion due to a lack of legitimacy.
The 99 former deputies, some of whom are still influential in Turkish society, urged against passing “customized” legislation for individuals, in a veiled reference to President Erdoğan.
The constitutional amendment package which will grant more powers to the president is under fire by the remaining opposition in Turkey since it would pave the way to an officially declared one-man rule.