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Turkish parliament approves controversial constitutional reforms

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By Seamus Kearney
Turkish parliament approves controversial constitutional reforms

<p>Controversial constitutional reforms have been approved in Turkey.</p> <p>A total of 339 MPs in parliament voted in favour of giving more executive power to the country’s president, while 142 were against, with no abstentions.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Turkey's parliament passes polemic bill to expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office. <a href="https://t.co/8m6vf0Ul3T">https://t.co/8m6vf0Ul3T</a></p>— The Associated Press (@AP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AP/status/822618411909910529">January 21, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>Supporters say more presidential authority is needed in uncertain times, but critics say it is too much power in the hands of one man. </p> <p>A national referendum on the changes will now be held.</p> <p>Binali Yildirim, the Turkish Prime Minister, told parliament: “Today we, as representatives, have accomplished the task given to us. We are now entrusting this to the people, its actual owners. Now it is the people’s word.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UPDATE?src=hash">#UPDATE</a> Turkey's parliament backs controversial bill that would dramatically expand the powers of President Erdogan <a href="https://t.co/uF5MLej1zg">https://t.co/uF5MLej1zg</a></p>— <span class="caps">AFP</span> news agency (@AFP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AFP/status/822633462326824964">January 21, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>The opposition has slammed the reforms as a big step backwards.</p> <p>Ali Seker, an MP from the opposition <span class="caps">CHP</span> party, told reporters: “The state of law, the secular democratic republican regime is completely eradicated. </p> <p>“They want to drag Turkey rapidly into a period of instability where there is no separation of power, no balance and no control. </p> <p>“If the public is well informed, the answer will be no.”</p> <p>On Friday there was mayhem and fighting in the parliament during debate on the reforms after an opposition MP handcuffed herself to the rostrum. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Mayhem in Turkish parliament after MP handcuffs herself to rostrum <a href="https://t.co/58n5H6yKo2">https://t.co/58n5H6yKo2</a></p>— Seamus Kearney (@seamuskearney_) <a href="https://twitter.com/seamuskearney_/status/822379423072559109">January 20, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Amid Fistfights, Turkey’s Parliament Backs a New Constitution <a href="https://t.co/ZzaXGQju4g">https://t.co/ZzaXGQju4g</a></p>— The New York Times (@nytimes) <a href="https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/822707483781267456">January 21, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>