Turkish people to decide on constitution reforms

Turkish people to decide on constitution reforms
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Controversial changes to Turkey’s constitution will be put to a referendum after failing to win the support of two-thirds of lawmakers to give them automatic effect.

The Islamic-leaning governing AK party wants more judges sitting in the constitutional court. It also wants greater powers for parliament and the president to appoint them.

Critics say the changes amount to a power grab. The court is seen as the guardian of Turkey’s secular constitution.

Ankara resident Kemal Avci said: “The prime minster’s says he is going to write history, but they just writing for themselves. They don’t care about the nation.”

Berk Mustuoglu, another resident of the Turkish capital, said: “I believe the referendum will go neck and neck. People might approve it but I don’t think it is certain by any means because there is a lot of tension surrounding these proposed changes.”

Under the changes, the military will become answerable to civilian courts.

The current constitution was drafted in 1982 after a military coup.

The composition of the Turkish judiciary has been criticised by human rights groups.

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