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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

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