Author : Hurriyet Dailynews
Posted : April 24, 2017
Turkey’s government will seek consensus with the opposition in drafting laws to introduce the newly approved constitutional amendments but will proceed on its own in the event that other parties do not contribute to the process, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said.
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), however, has vowed to continue opposing the charter.
“We prefer to seek consensus with the opposition to the [greatest] possible extent in order to introduce the adjustment laws. But if there is a situation in which we cannot form a consensus, we will proceed on our road regardless,” Yıldırım told reporters late on April 23 in a reception for Sovereignty Day in parliament.
Assessing the tension over the controversial amendments that occurred in a special April 23 session in parliament, Yıldırım said the heated debates were normal.
“These kinds of things happen in parliament. It is normal. The parliament is the house of the people; everybody says what they think. It is not a big deal,” Yıldırım said, adding that he expected parliament to work in harmony once official sessions commence.
“Why would there be any tension? What reason is there? We have to set a good example to citizens,” he said.
Approached by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, Yıldırım also hinted at collaboration between the two parties in adapting legislation.
“Don’t you see?” Yıldırım said, pointing at Bahçeli. “Is there better harmony than this?” he added, stating that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and MHP had been working on the adaptation since the beginning.
He also hinted at an official meeting with the nationalist leader for legislation to implement the amendments.
Reiterating Yıldırım’s emphasis on collaboration, Bahçeli said his party would work with the ruling party on the legal adjustment process but underlined that his party was not attempting to form a coalition.
“We will not step back from the responsibility we took on the issues of the country. But it does not mean that we will be the coalition partners of the government. These kinds of questions seek to open up discussions about the existing government. We do not have the right to do that. Currently, the 65th government is working with the support of 316 lawmakers,” Bahçeli said.
Answering questions about the possibility of future dialogue with other parties, Bahçeli said there would be such a need in the near future.
“Adjustment laws are needed in order to ensure the implementation of the constitutional amendments which were approved by the referendum. As a party which worked to shape the constitution, we cannot contradict the adjustment laws. The contradictory issues should be eliminated by mutual meetings and consultation,” Bahçeli said.
“Our party officials have made preliminary preparations about how the adjustment laws should be. If other parties have also made preparations, we can discuss it face to face,” he added.
CHP will continue objecting to constitutional change
As the two leaders gave messages of collaboration in parliament, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said they would continue to voice their views on the constitutional amendments, noting that they would continue to manifest their discontent with “realist opposition.”
“[The row in the parliament] was not tough opposition. I just said the truth. A parliament which is stripped of its authority cannot be presented as a strong parliament. That is not logical or rational,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, voicing his party’s fierce objection to the system change that will replace the legislative system with an executive presidency.
“[Parliament] will be stripped of its authority, and a lawmaker will not even be asked an oral question, and then we will say, ‘Parliament has become very strong.’ How is that possible?” he added.