Erdogan cleared first hurdle to get more powers

Turkish President Erdogan cleared first hurdle to get more powers as the Turkish parliament passed the Constitutional Reform Package. This approval means that now the constitutional reform package will be put to the referendum. The people will decide whether they want to change the system or not. If approved in the referendum, the president will get sweeping powers. The new system will take effect from 2019. Turkey would have an executive presidency instead of present parliamentary system in which prime minister is the chief executive.

the opposition parties and rights groups are expressing concerns for giving greater powers to Erdogan. Erdogan pushed for this constitutional changes after the failed coup attempt in July 2016. Since then, he has dismissed  more than one hundred thousand (1,00,000) state employees including military officials, jailed 40,000 suspects. He has imprisoned 140 journalists and 81 are still behind the bars. He has closed down many independent media out lets including private run TV channels, Radio Stations and News Papers in the country.

Turkey has been under constant state of emergency since the failed coup in July. The referendum accepted to held in April 2017. Far right opposition MHP party helped the government to pass the bill. The ruling AKP party lacked the required numbers in the parliament. Both parties now campaign for a yes vote in the referendum and opposition parties will campaign no. The Constitutional Reform Bill will change the 18 articles in the constitution to give more powers to president.

The parliamentarians fought with each other during the final vote. Some MPs got injured. MPs from both sides attacked each other. Turkey is heading towards a bitter and hard fought rough campaign for the referendum. 

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