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October 01 2013

POLITICS - Government takes steps on headscarf, Kurds, electoral system ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily…

POLITICS - Government takes steps on headscarf, Kurds, electoral system
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

The Turkish government will lift its much-debated ban on wearing headscarves in public offices, permit education in mother tongues in private schools and commence a debate on the country’s much-criticized electoral system with a long-anticipated democratization package announced yesterday. 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the package was a result of Turkey’s “democratization history,” particularly over the last 11 years. “This package is not a first and will not be the last package of such reforms,” Erdoğan said, stressing that the package was not the “final point” of a reform process that he claimed the ruling party had been pursuing since coming to power in 2002. 

“Turkey is progressing irreversibly toward democracy. This package is a fundamental and historic phase of this progress,” he said at the press conference in Ankara. He read a statement and outlined the reform list but did not take questions.

September 16 2013

ANKARA WHISPERS - Who will elect the president ?

ANKARA WHISPERS - Who will elect the president?

In the political lobbies of Ankara, a different debate is ongoing for some time. This debate focuses on election method of the Presidential elections on August 2014 that will be at the top of our agenda after the local elections. The answer to the following question is being sought: “Will the Parliament or the people elect the President?”

According to Article 101 of the Constitution, the president will be elected by popular vote for the first time. Before October 21, 2007, the president was elected by the Parliament. The reason the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have reached this stage was a major state crisis. In 2007, Prime Minister Erdoğan announced Abdullah Gül’s name for Çankaya in a party group meeting. On April 27, the first round of voting in the Parliament was held. Despite Gül’s receiving 357 votes, as a result of the argument initiated by then the public prosecutor Sabih Kanadoğlu that the quorum must be 367, upon opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) filing an application, the Constitutional Court annulled the voting.

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