Does Erdogan want his own Islamic state?

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves from the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce mosque after Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkey, April 15, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Murad Sezer) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves from the Ottoman-era Dolmabahce mosque after Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkey, April 15, 2016. (photo by REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

 

Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman unexpectedly sparked controversy in Turkey when on April 25 he declared that Turkey’s new constitution should forgo mention of “secularism” and instead be a “religious constitution” referencing God. His words reignited Turkey’s always tense “secularism debate,” which has been amplified since 2002 when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power. Kahraman’s remarks led to protests in a number of cities, a call by the main opposition leader for him to resign and allegations by secular pundits that the Speaker had shown the AKP’s “true face,” its “real intentions.” Because Kahraman is a known confidant of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, many also suspected that his statement was part of a scheme being orchestrated by Turkey’s leader. Continue reading

Erdogan’s Dream: The Sultan Rules

  • Erdogan is not happy with the powers the Turkish constitution grants him. He wants more.
  • Once he has given orders, there should not be judicial, constitutional or parliamentary checks and balances. He will become the first ballot-box Sultan of the Turkish Empire of his dreams.
  • 367 parliamentary votes are required to pass a constitutional amendment in parliament without a referendum, and at least 330 to make Erdogan an elected Sultan. But if he wins, he will be the president of less than half of the Turks, with the other half hating him more than ever.

It is election time in Turkey. On June 7, the Turks will go to the ballot box to elect a government and a prime minister who will rule the country for four years.

In reality, they will go to the ballot box to decide whether they want an elected Sultan or not.

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wants more than just to win a parliamentary majority for his Justice and Development Party (AKP). He wants a two-thirds majority, so that the constitution can be amended to introduce an executive presidential system and the Sultan can once again officially rule.

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Turkey plans legal reform to prevent coups

The Turkish government has plans to make a slight change to its laws to prevent coups. The contentious point in the constitution – Article 35 – has been used as justification by instigators of past coups.

Since 1960, there have been four military coups in Turkey that threw out elected governments. The last time a coup threatened the government in Turkey was 2007, when the military had a stand-off with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Now, the government is considering a historic step: changing Article 35 of the Turkish military’s internal laws. This would be an attempt to avoid future military coups by passing an amendment that would remove the possibility of the military getting involved in domestic affairs. The change in Article 35 would make the military only responsible for “threats from abroad.” Continue reading