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Turkey's AKP scrambles to curb economic woes until referendum

Turkey’s government has mobilized public funds to avert a full-blown economic crisis ahead of a critical referendum on transition to a presidential system, expected in early spring.
Boards showing the currency exchange rates of the U.S. dollar and the Euro against Turkish lira are on display at a currency exchange office in Istanbul, Turkey, January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTX2YFYR
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After 14 years in power, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the representative of radical Islam in Turkey, has finally focused on its main objective: a regime change to install a one-man rule. A set of constitutional amendments, drawn up and brought to parliament by the AKP, needs the support of at least 330 deputies in the 550-member legislature to make it through. The ruling party, which holds 317 seats, hopes to pass the bill with backing from the 40 deputies of the Nationalist Action Party, which shares nationalist and Islamic values with the AKP. Should the bill get the necessary support in the upcoming vote, it will be put to a referendum within two months’ time.

If approved, the amendment will legitimize the de facto executive presidency that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is already exercising, while handing him a number of powers that currently belong to the legislature, the prime minister's office and the judiciary.

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