Turkey’s Erdoğan paves way for April vote on consolidation of power

The Guardian reports: Turkey’s president has approved a bill granting him broad new powers under an executive presidential system, paving the way for a referendum in mid-April on the proposed changes.

The 18-article bill was passed by parliament last month without garnering the two-thirds majority needed to become law. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s approval allows the proposed constitutional changes to go to a public vote.

Senior Turkish officials have said the referendum is likely to take place on 16 April.

The constitutional overhaul would allow Erdoğan to run for two more terms in office, potentially governing as a powerful executive until 2029. It is backed by the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) and its nationalist allies in parliament.[Continue reading…]

ThinkProgress reports: President Donald Trump’s disdain for liberal democratic norms is something he shares with authoritarian Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Turkish opposition leader told ThinkProgress.

“During the election process [Trump] was polarizing and scandalizing, but he convinced people to vote for him,” said Turkish MP Hişyar Özsoy, vice co-chair the left-leaning Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). “Erdogan also.”

Özsoy said Trump has sent a message that human rights, democracy, and the rule of law aren’t among his top priorities. Erdogan has taken a similar stance over the course of his 12 years in power, as he consolidated his rule over Turkey by dismantling the democratic process and disregarding human rights. [Continue reading…]

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