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The Coming Political Crisis in Turkey

Cengiz Çandar foresees a political crisis in this year as Prime Minister Recep Erdogan's ruling AKP party pushes a draft constitution that would dramatically expand his powers.
Members of parliament from the ruling AK Party (AKP) and Republican People's Party (CHP) scuffle during a debate at the parliament in Ankara early March 30, 2012. The Turkish parliament is hotly debating a bill overturning a 1997 law, imposed with the backing of the military, which extended compulsory education to eight from five years and stopped under-15s attending religious "imam hatip" schools. Parliamentarians on Thursday accepted a proposal from Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party to offer option
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The first day of 2013 is offering clues as to what will keep Turkey busy this year. The priority appears to be the work on a new constitution. Most likely Turkey won’t be able to introduce a new constitution and the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] will try to impose a constitutional draft that provides for an empowered president, fulfilling Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s aspirations for the 2014 elections. Other parties will resist and Turkey will thus move into 2013 with symptoms of a political crisis.

The first clue to how 2013 will start came from a statement on the last day of 2012, when the Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Cicek announced that he will be meeting with the main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu on Jan. 2.

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