Turkey’s parliament has voted in favour in a first round ballot on a constitutional bill that will extend President Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, which opposition politicians say could put the country at risk of growing authoritarianism. The assembly approved the final 18th article of the package late on Sunday and according to parliament regulations will now take a two-day break from the talks before a second round of voting during which any changes to the articles will be debated.
The ruling AK Party, backed by the nationalist MHP, is pushing through legislation that Erdogan says will bring strong executive leadership needed to prevent a return to the fragile coalition governments of the past.
If parliament gives final approval to the constitutional package it will be put to a referendum expected in the spring. The main opposition CHP and the pro-Kurdish HDP, the second largest opposition party, strongly oppose the changes.