Turkey plans constitutional reform granting prime minister unrivalled power

Slipping Into Darkness Thanks to Fethullah Gulen

Erdogan eliminated the military before they could eliminate him. The re-Islamization of Turkey is the result.

Turkey is preparing to hold a referendum next month on key constitutional changes that will grant its Islamist prime minister unrivalled power in a country traditionally dominated by the military.

by Damien McElroy in Istanbul/Telegraph UK

Parliament finished a debate Thursday on the constitutional package, which marks the culmination of a seven year drive by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. the prime minister, to make the democratically elected government Turkey’s most powerful institution.

Mr Erdogan used his AK Party’s majority to pass a set of 27 amendments over the opposition of the country’s minority parties. Antagonism between the factions escalated during the debate and three politicians, including the Trade Minister and a Kurdish leader, suffered facial injuries in attacks.

President Abdullah Gul is expected to trigger the referendum within two weeks.

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Analysts said that the era of untrammelled military power and extensive interference in the political system by the judiciary would be consigned to the past by the vote.

The measures would allow parliament to select high court judges for the first time and impose a disciplinary system that would facilitate the removal of currently unsackable judges.

The judiciary’s wide-ranging ability to shut down political parties, a power used in the past against Mr Erdogan’s party and others, would also be curtailed.

Few expect Mr Erdogan to lose the referendum. But the vote is expected to bring about a realignment of Turkish politics as nationalist and republican politicans seek to rejuvenate the lacklustre opposition.

Mr Erdogan, who has led Turkey since 2003, has been accused of diluting the secular protections offered to citizens and tilting the country away from the Nato alliance towards the Middle East and Central Asia.

At the forefront of the new challengers to AK Party dominance is Mustafa Sarigül, leader of the popular Change movement and currently mayor of Istanbul’s leading borough, Sisili. “Turkey has shifted to the East and is moving further away from the democractic countries of the Euro-Atlantic region. It is drifting away from the principle of individual rights,” Mr Sarigul said. “We need a new kind of politics that provides a different vision to that of the AK Party.”

Yet like the three traditional opposition parties in parliament, Mr Sarigul intends to campaign against the constitutional referendum.

He warned of the dangers of the reforms and said an entirely new constitution is needed to ensure democracy is protected in Turkey.

“We certain believe that the military and judiciary should be out of politics but the current constitution was drawn up after a military coup and bears its shadow. The changes therefore grant too much power to the party in power,” he said.

4 thoughts on “Turkey plans constitutional reform granting prime minister unrivalled power”

  1. Thank you so much for pushing the story behind this story. Gulen should not be in this country and it is appalling that his presence here is condoned. Shows what a billionaire can get by with.

    Unlike the decrepit compounds of Jamaat ul Fuqra dotted about the U.S. countryside and filled with embitttered ex-felons recruited by Sheikh Julani in Pakistan, Gulen’s compound is palatial; the guards wear white shirts and ties. In fact, I think his place in the Poconos was formerly a Jewish school of some kind, or perhaps a summer camp?

    At any rate, Julani is persona non grata here while the billionaire Gulen is free to come and go as he plots behind the scenes in Turkey’s fast return to the 7th century. The non-Muslim minorities in Turkey are going to become even more discriminated against. And the Muslim scapegoats, the Kurdish minority, will be even more persecuted.

    This man is a threat to us and he shouldn’t be here. But he is even more of a threat to Turkish citizens. You are doing everyone a favor by publicizing this menace.

    BTW, one of our correspondents, JLH, found your link in a story about the Coptic priest, Father Zakaria. Evidently your piece in 2008 was one of the most recent since the site you had referred to is no longer in operation.

    If you want to follow up on the news re Fr. Butros’ visit to Vienna (fast becoming a hellhole of islamism), see here:


    (btw, I just read your hilarious rules for commenting! That piggy bank for the izlamic dollars had better not pay interest. Haram, ya know…)

  2. I find this news curious. Erdogan seems to accelerating his program, particularly since membership of the EU appears to be critical to his long term strategy (if I have read the signs correctly), but a win in a referendum of this nature will severely damage the possibility of Turkey entering the EU.

  3. Turkey’s prophetic destiny will be as part of the Ezekiel 38 / 39 coalition that will invade Israel with a view to destroying it. Thus its linkages with Russia, Iran and the like.

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