Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Turkey detains 5 suspected of IS attack plan on referendum

The boys asked to remain unnamed.
	Ozlem Kucuk 32 from Konya The boys asked to remain unnamed. Ozlem Kucuk 32 from Konya
Madeline Patrick | 16 April, 2017, 02:50

Social media are alive with support for the "Yes" and "No" campaigns in Sunday's referendum on constitutional change in Turkey.

Erdogan's supporters see his drive for greater powers as the just reward for a leader who has put conservative values back at the core of public life, championed the working classes and delivered airports, hospitals and schools. This marked the first time a Turkish president had been directly chosen by popular vote.

If passed, the new presidential system will implement the most radical political shake-up since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, dispensing with the office of the prime minister and centralising the entire executive bureaucracy under the presidency. Turkish voters overseas have already cast their ballots.

The pressure came from Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), who has backed Erdogan's bid for expanding presidential powers and is an ally in the campaign ahead of the vote on Sunday.

The vote is expected to be close.

Turkish voters will decide Sunday whether to replace the Turkish Republic's parliamentary form of government with a strong presidency.

Assuming the referendum passes, most of the changes it contains won't take effect until the next set of elections, due in 2019.

Modi gets rousing welcome in Odisha, terms it "memorable"
The members of the BJP's Mahila Morcha felicitated the prime minister in front of the Raj Bhavan, giving him lotus flowers. Shah is also scheduled to attend a programme at the state BJP headquarters to celebrate the Odia New Year.

There are various judicial restraints on presidential power: if the president is suspected of a crime, parliament can order an investigation with a simple majority vote and refer him to the constitutional court with a two-thirds majority vote. However, some observers say an early election called in the second-term would reset the clock and allow the president to run for an extra term - meaning that Erdogan could rule until 2029 and beyond. The parliament would not be able to bring down a government or a minister in a vote of no confidence.

Eskisehir, an industrial city of 800,000, is located in central Anatolia, the heartland for Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), but it's controlled by the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). If the president dissolves parliament, then both parliamentary and presidential elections will be renewed. Though the number of parliamentary seats would increase from 550 to 600, the legislative assembly would no longer be able to introduce motions of no confidence in the government and its officials.

Erdogan said the proposed reforms could help counter a series of threats, including a failed military coup past year and a string of deadly bombings, some attributed to the Islamic State group.

The opposition has complained of a lopsided campaign, with Erdogan using the full resources of the state and the governing party to dominate the airwaves and blanket the country with pro-"yes" campaign posters. Tens of thousands have been jailed, including dozens of journalists, and media outlets have been closed down. He also appealed to voters of other parties to approve the changes so "Turkey can leap into the future".

After a slew of attacks over the previous year blamed on Kurdish militants and jihadists, security is set to be a major issue on polling day.

More than 250,000 police officers and almost 130,000 paramilitary police will be on duty on Sunday, in addition to some 6,000 military personnel on stand-by, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

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