CHP demands constitutional changes to join Erdoğan’s ‘Turkey Alliance’ - columnist

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) demanded new constitutional changes in response to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s efforts to establish a national unity government, columnist Can Ataklı said in secularist Sözcü newspaper on Saturday.

According to various analysts, Erdoğan’s harsh rhetoric against the opposition was one of the reasons why his Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost mayoral races in Istanbul and Ankara in March 31 local polls. 

The Turkish president last week said the country should leave election debates behind and instead focus on economic and security problems

"We 82 million (Turks) have to unite and act jointly as a TURKEY ALLIANCE on the issues concerning the future of our country, putting aside all our political differences," Erdoğan said on Twitter.

According to some columnists, Erdoğan’s call hinted his plans to establish a national unity government that will include representatives of opposition parties and civil society organisations. 

Ataklı said that Erdoğan had been trying to figure out the opposition parties’ potential response to that proposal. 

“Though it is not officially announced, I have heard from serious sources that the CHP submitted a counter proposal,” Ataklı said.

According to the columnist, the CHP’s counter proposal included several constitutional changes regarded necessary to join Erdoğan’s alliance.

The secular party demands a semi-presidential system that will strengthen supervisory powers of the parliament and bring back the right to submit censure motions, which was removed by constitutional changes adopted in a referendum in 2017.

Erdoğan is able to appoint people outside the parliament as ministers according to the new executive presidential system. The CHP wants all ministers to be chosen among lawmakers in the parliament. 

Turkey’s main opposition party also requests from Erdoğan to separate party leadership from his presidential position.