Turkish PM hopes reforms go to parliament Tuesday

Erdogan said government's constitutional amendment bill was likely be submitted to parliament on Tuesday.

Turkish PM hopes reforms go to parliament Tuesday

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said government's constitutional amendment bill was likely be submitted to parliament on Tuesday.

Justice and Development (AK) Party recently announced a constitutional bill, proposing amendments to 22 articles and abolishment of provisional Article 15 of the constitution.

The government bill among other things aims to change the constitution of the Supreme Board of Judges (HSYK) and Prosecutors and the Constitutional Court, and tie opening of closure cases against political parties to the permission of a parliamentary committee.

In his address to a symposium on municipal administrations in Ankara, Erdogan said AK Party toured political parties, civil organizations, and local and foreign media to get feed back.

Erdogan said the Turkish nation demanded the 1982 Constitution to be changed noting that the bill was not AK Party's arbitrary decision.

He pointed out that everybody agreed over the need to change the constitution noting however that opinions could vary on how it should be amended. He added that they postponed submittal of the package by one day in order to get opinions of independent lawmakers, reiterating their decision to submit the package by March 31 the latest.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc signalled earlier Monday that only one new article was likely to be added to the proposed list of articles to be amended in the bill, adding that there could be minor changes in a few other articles.

Opposition parties which are sceptical of the government bill have severely criticized the attempt, and said the move "aimed at taking over and politicising the judiciary".

The government which denies accusations argues that the bill aims at making Turkey more democratic in line with EU's expectations.

AK Party government which toured the opposition parties in a bid to raise support in the parliament for the bill, stated it would carry the amendment package to referendum if it failed to get the required support.

Both the main secularist opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and second opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) declared they would not support the bill.

CHP argues it would erode the independence of the judiciary.

It says it will only support the abolishment of the provisional article 15 if the government brings it separately to parliament floor, refusing to support the whole bill.

Second opposition MHP accuses the government of attempting to politicise the judiciary and subordinate the judiciary to the executive branch.

The government bill foresees amendments to 22 articles of the Constitution, including the articles 10, 20, 23, 41, 53, 69, 74, 84, 94, 125, 128, 129, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 156 and 159.

The bill also aims to bring the right to collective bargaining for civil servants and the other public workers and to abolish the provisional article 15 of the constitution which prevents trial of generals who led the military coup on September 12, 1980.

The bill also aims to enable trial of military personnel at civilian courts on charges of crimes they commit against security of the state and the constitutional order. (OZG-MS)


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Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Mart 2010, 16:41

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