Erdoğan hopes Parliament approves new structure proposal

The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) opened the fifth year of its 27th term of office on Friday. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave the opening speech in Parliament, which was convened for a session chaired by Parliament President Mustafa Şentop. Erdoğan expressed his hope that the new draft constitution will be adopted in parliament.

“I hope that our new draft constitution will be adopted in parliament,” said Erdoğan, emphasizing his wish that the political parties share their draft proposals for the new constitution.

“A new constitution, prepared with the consensus of our assembly when possible, will be the best gift we can give our nation in 2023.” [on the centennial of the republic],” he added.

On another topic that recently hit the headlines, Erdoğan said: “We have solved the so-called ‘Kurdish problem’ in all its dimensions, from rights and freedoms to development; the subject has been exploited by all segments, including terrorist groups. “

Recently, the opposition parties in Turkey made some public statements on the Kurdish issue. Over the past decade, despite decades of negligence, Turkey has made significant strides on Kurdish rights, including setting up a Kurdish television station, introducing Kurdish classes at universities, and other development projects. The community was the victim of a brutal PKK terror campaign and tough state measures to contain it.

“We all saw how helpless the international community was in dealing with the Syria crisis.”

The most important agenda items in the new legislative year are expected to include the changes to the electoral and political party law in connection with the 2023 elections, the fourth judicial reform package and an amendment to the tax law.

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change is one of the first international agreements to be submitted to parliament for approval. Countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement must meet their commitments to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

Following the opening ceremony, Parliament will take a break on Tuesday 5 October and will convene the work again.

Suffrage

One of the most important developments in the new legislative year will be the change in the electoral and political party law.

As the BBC Turkish reported, there is no rush to present the electoral law package to parliament, where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have voted on an electoral threshold of 7%. have agreed.

The current 10% threshold using the highest averages method known as the D’Hondt method was introduced with the 1982 constitution, which was passed in a referendum following the 1980 military coup. While the AK party promised several times over the past decade to lift the threshold, no steps have been taken on this issue.

There is also no change to the election law on the AK party’s October agenda. According to the lobby, the election law package can be postponed after the budget negotiations to prevent early election discussions.

Government and AK Party officials have often rejected the option of early elections and opposition calls for a return to a parliamentary system.

It has been more than four years since Turkey switched from a parliamentary system to the current presidential system after the majority of Turkish voters opted for the new framework.

In the referendum on April 16, 2017, Turkish voters narrowly agreed to a presidency of the executive with 51.4% of the vote. The official transition to the new system took place when President Erdoğan took the president’s oath of office in parliament after the general election on June 24, 2018, in which he received 52.6% of the vote.

The next presidential and parliamentary elections are planned for 2023.

Social media regulation

The work on the social media regulation, which the government put on its agenda with the justification of “fighting fake news and disinformation” based on the posts on social media after the forest fires in the summer months, continues.

However, it should be noted that the statutory regulation, such as the amendment to the electoral and political party law, may be delayed after the budget negotiations. In the draft of the AK party it was intended to sanction both users and social media organizations for social media contributions that are to be organized “for a specific purpose”.

It is planned to set up a unit within the authority for information technology and communication to monitor the processing of such posts. Social media users who post disinformation can face jail sentences and social media organizations can face heavy fines if they do not remove the content within 24 hours.

The first step in strengthening social media policy was taken last year when social media providers were asked to open representative offices in Turkey. The new regulation will continue this first step.

The AK party, which presented three justice packages to parliament, is continuing to work on the fourth justice package, which it is expected to present in the new year.

New constitution

The proposal for a new constitution by the AK party and the MHP is to be announced to the public in the new year.

MHP boss Devlet Bahçeli announced in May that he had completed the “new draft constitution” and sent it to Erdoğan. Erdoğan then appointed a committee to chair it to work on the new constitution.

President Erdoğan said it was “determined to submit the new constitutional proposals to the nation’s discretion in the first few months of next year.” It is said that the AK party has largely completed its new constitutional proposal and will submit it to the MHP for review before the new year.

After working with the MHP, a meeting with the opposition is planned to gain support for the new constitutional package, which will be released for public discussion in the first months of 2022.

Turkey needs a new constitution and the TBMM has the capacity to create it, Parliament speaker Mustafa Şentop said on Thursday.

Since 1982, the current constitution, which was drafted after a military coup, has seen several changes. The bloody coup of 1980, which resulted in the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands, as well as mass trials, torture and executions, is still a dark time in Turkish political history.

Erdoğan wants Turkey to have a civil constitution by 2023, which will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

Opposition agenda

The opposition parties, which are preparing for the 2023 elections with the promise of a “reinforced parliamentary system”, will accelerate the work.

In this context, the representatives of the six opposition parties, including the largest opposition center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP), the right-wing Good Party (IP), the conservative Felicity Party (SP), the center-right Democratic Party (DP) , Conservative Future Party (GP) and Center-Right Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), which have met twice to summarize their work on the parliamentary system in a single text, will meet for the third time on Tuesday, October 10th. 5.

At the meeting, opinions and suggestions on the basic principles of an “impartial, bipartisan president”, a “strong parliament” and an “independent judiciary”, which flow into the parliamentary system work of the parties and are made known to the public, will be discussed.

Comments are closed.