Turkey’s parliament gives preliminary approval to controversial new constitution
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (3rd R) and lawmakers pose as they cast their ballots during a vote on provisions in a bill to change the constitution at the Turkish parliament in Ankara on January 14, 2017. (AFP/Adem Altan)
Turkey’s parliament has given preliminary approval to a new constitution which will increase the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It will allow the president to appoint and dismiss ministers, give him more scope to declare an emergency and also abolish the post of prime minister for the first time in modern Turkish history.
Instead there will be at least one vice-president.
Debates over the constitutional changes have been heated.
Last week a fight broke out in parliament after the AKP clashed with Republican’s People Party (CHP) members when an MP tried to film a voting session during a debate.
The CHP, the biggest opposition party, opposes the changes.
There will be a second round of voting later this week and, if approved, a referendum will follow.