Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief advisor Mehmet Uçum has said the Turkish nation is engaged in a revolution and will establish “its own state” on April 16 when a constitutional reform package will be put to a public vote.
Writing from his Twitter account on Sunday, Uçum said: “Are you aware that our people are engaged in a revolution that is not silent, but loud and strong? The nation is taking a step to establish ‘its own state.’ May April 16 be beneficial to that end.”
In January, Turkey’s Parliament passed the constitutional amendments later approved by Erdoğan that would transform the political order into an executive-style presidential system, effectively widening the scope of power of the position.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), backed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), pushed through the legislation that President Erdoğan says will bring the strong leadership needed to prevent a return of the fragile coalition governments of the past.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) fear the reform will fuel authoritarianism.
Parliament’s approval paved the way for a nationwide referendum on the amendments, which would give the president, a traditionally more ceremonial role, the power to dismiss ministers and Parliament, issue decrees, declare emergency rule and appoint figures to key positions, including the judiciary.
It would also allow the president to be a member of a political party, which is currently prohibited under the constitution as the presidency is expected to exercise impartiality.
The referendum on the constitutional amendments will be held on April 16.