Turkish parliament

Published by Ekurd, 04 February 2016

The Constitutional Consensus Commission, comprised of legislators from all four parties in parliament, held its first meeting on Thursday.

While all parties agree on the need to overhaul the constitution, the opposition strongly opposes the ruling party’s plans to turn Turkey’s political system into a presidential one, giving the president executive powers. Currently, the president’s role is largely ceremonial.

 The opposition fears that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has grown increasingly authoritarian, is aiming to concentrate too much power in his hands.

A previous commission disbanded in 2013 after failing to agree on several issues.

Turkish state still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds numbering to 22.5 million of the country’s 78-million population, The Kurds demand an autonomy within Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu last December rejected holding talks with Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish party over a new constitution because of the “disrespectful” attitude of its leadership.

The premier’s blackballing of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) from discussions comes as the army wages a relentless campaign against Kurdish PKK militants in Turkish Kurdistan, the Kurdish region in the southeast.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority in Turkish Kurdistan. The conflict has left tens of thousands dead.

On December 27, 2015 the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an association of Kurdish political organisations, released a declaration calling for self-rule in Turkish Kurdistan, the country’s Kurdish region in the southeast.

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