December 11, 2016
Turkey Deals With Bombs In Istanbul And Bills In Ankara
The Turkish government has announced its “vow to avenge” the victims of Saturday night’s twin bombings outside a football stadium in Istanbul. The attacks, which were orchestrated with a car packed with 300kg of explosives and a suicide bomb, killed 38 people and injured more than 160 others. “Sooner or later, we will have our vengeance. This blood will not be left on the ground, no matter what the price, what the cost,” said interior minister Süleyman Soylu in the least comforting way possible. Though there still needs to be an investigation, the government feels strongly that this was the work of Kurdish separatists.
While Turkish citizens mourn the loss from these attacks, President Erdogan’s AK Party submitted a bill to parliament that would grant extended powers to the presidency and abolish the prime ministry. Don’t let it fall under the radar: If this 21-article constitutional change gets adopted, Turkey will no longer function as a parliamentary system but as an executive presidency, a massive power-grab for Erdogan. Supporters of the constitutional change argue that Turkey already has “partial executive presidency” and removing the prime ministry is the natural next step. Critics, however, warn that Erdogan’s accumulation of power will pave the way for authoritarianism. Also, giving one person the state’s entire executive power just feels, well, undemocratic.
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