Early today, on “Saturday,” national Assembly “parliament” approved the proposed law submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party, to change the country’s political system from a “parliamentary” to a presidential participated by 488 deputies in the secret voting process of plenary session of the Assembly, in which 339 Deputy voted in favor of the proposed law, while 142 opposed it, while five of them voted on white paper, whereas two votes were canceled . and it was planned that the proposal to be presented to the country’s president in January 23 to 24 currently, in order to ratify it within 15 days, and then presented to the a referendum within 60 days from the date of its publication in the official Gazette.
The most prominent of the proposed articles stipulate to raise the total number of deputies in the Turkish parliament from 550 to 600 deputies, and lowering the age of candidacy for the parliamentary deputy from the 25 to 18 years, except those linked to military service. The articles include parliamentary elections in the country once every five years, and the holding of presidential elections on the same day, and if no one candidate obtains in the presidential elections the required votes, a second round will be conducted according to the stipulated procedures. Also it requires that the age of candidacy for the presidency of the Republic of Turkey 40 years , and the candidate to be from the Turkish citizens who possess a degree of high education .
And the election of the president of the republic to be conducted by the Turkish people, for a period of 5 years, and it is not allowed for a person to elect the president of the Turkish Republic more than twice , according to the articles . The proposed articles also provides for the abolition of the law which provides for cutting off a link to an elected president for the political party to which he belongs.
And the President of the Republic will be able , according to the articles, the appointment of more than one deputy to him, and the appointment of his deputies and ministers from among people who possess the conditions of candidate for the deputy position and the deposition of them .it is stated as a condition on the Vice President of the Republic and government ministers, to perform the constitutional oath before the National Assembly of Turkey. And the president undertake the command of the army and the president has the right to declare a state of emergency in the event of availability of the conditions specified in the law .
And the new articles allow to open an investigation with the President of the Republic on the basis of a proposal posed by absolute majority of the total members of the Turkish Parliament .And it requires from the vice president and government ministers to perform the constitutional oath before the Turkish National Assembly. And among the constitutional amendments also are the cancellation of military courts which include the supreme military Judicial Court and the Supreme military Administrative Court ,and prohibits the establishment of military Courts in the country, with the exception of disciplinary Courts. And the parliamentary membership is to be dropped about the house of representatives who are appointed to the position of vice president or ministers and parliament can decide to hold new elections with the Approval of three fifths of the total number of Representatives and the next general and presidential elections will be held in November 3,2019.
And in order to approve the constitutional amendments in the country, the number of voters in a referendum by (yes) should be more than 50 percent of the votes (50 +1). These constitutional amendments in the event of its approval , the Turkish political system would resemble to a great extent the American political system in its mechanism of work .
After the vote, the Turkish Prime Minister Ben Ali Yildirim, said that the final decision is, however, the people, regarding to regime change in Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential, stressing his respect for popular decision. Yildirim said: “The changes to the constitution in the country, however, is in the hands of the Turkish people. We deputies have conducted our mission entrusted to us in Parliament, and we transfer the matter today to its real owner , the people, “praising the role of the people in the right decision-making . Turkish Prime Minister indicated that the people will go to the polls to vote consciously and honestly, and that people will choose the best for Turkey and he stressed his respect for the people decision.
And the position of the most prominent political union and parties for the bill, the head of the Nationalist Movement Party “Devlet Bahjh ;Lee,”has congratulated the Turkish people for the approval of the National Assembly of the law, and in a press statement after the National Assembly vote on the project, “Bahjh Lee” wished that the change will bring the good to his people.
While The Republican People’s Party from the centre-left current voted against the bill and denounced what he called regime change and the leader of the Republican People’s party, the opposing, , Kemal Kulaijaddar Davutoglu predicted that the Turkish people will vote against the constitutional amendments , the statement came during a speech to his parliamentary bloc after the parliamentary approval at dawn today regarding the proposed constitutional amendments which stipulate to converting the system of government from the parliamentary to presidential presented by the justice and development party and kulaijaddar oglu said ” I am confident with all my heart that the people will not allow the game to be passed which was taken place in the parliament and the people will correct this mistake and kulaijaddarc oglu added that they want neutral president and president who is not neutral can not bring the interest for the country and we are going to live in peace and stay away from the conflict , so we will continue our struggle” and kulaijaddar oglu demanded from his deputies to communicate with citizens to explain the importance of the rejection of the constitutional amendments.
Kulaijaddar Ihsanoglu claimed that “the constitutional amendments to ensure the future of one person and ignore the 80 million Turkish citizens.” He said in this regard, “We are opposed to regime change, nor Turkey can bear this change.” While the kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party boycotted the vote after the arrest of party deputies in Parliament.
The lawyers union had seen a tendency of the bill toward tyranny, where the chairman of the Union of Turkish Bar Associates Mateen Faidh Oglu
said that “the separation of powers would be canceled completely and all powers will be concentrated , however, in the hands of one person under the pretext of stabilizing .” “But stability is not always possible only under the rule of law.” “This is not a reform, but a suicide and people will never commit suicide.”
According to opinion polls, the Turkish people will vote in favor of the law, which would be considered a turning point in the history of modern Turkey , as the constitutional amendments will give the Turkish President the powers to appoint or dismiss ministers and the post of prime minister will be removed for the first time in the history of Turkey, which is a precedent since the founding of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish Republic in 1923. as it will establish the features may be new in the Turkish foreign policy.
Turkish Studies Unit
Translated by Mudhaffar al-Kusairi
Rawabet Research and Strategic Studies Center