Parliament prepares for busy schedule ahead
WITH the summer recess coming to an end, Turkish Parliament is set to resume its regular activities on Oct. 3.
The extension of the state of emergency, which was approved on July 17 for three months, and the election of a new speaker are likely to dominate Parliament’s agenda once the new session begins.
With the last one held back in November 2015, the speaker election is scheduled for next month.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is likely to re-nominate İsmail Kahraman for the post. and is also expected to make alterations to its party base.
Meanwhile, a draft resolution to enact a mediation period in labor relations was expected to be voted on in October.
The amendments to bylaws, adopted earlier this July, will also come into force during the new legislation period. Accordingly, the amount of time allowed for deputies’ speeches will be shortened and they will also not be allowed to bring banners and flags into Parliament.
Henceforth, the opposition will not be able to ask the speaker to take the register anytime it wishes so that Parliament can operate actively. The opposition will only be able to ask the speaker to take the register when clauses or proposals are voted on in Parliament. The hours of operation will also extend under the amendments to bylaws.
Reprimand and fines will also come into practice. According to the new amendments, deputies may face temporary bans if they defame Parliament, the speaker, the Turkish nation, its history or the constitutional order, which was stipulated by the first four clauses of the Constitution. The new bylaws also prohibit deputies from making offensive statements that go against constitutional order and from carrying guns in Parliament. Punished deputies may also face monetary penalties.
Deputies may face a temporary ban if they are punished with reprimand twice in a single session, five times within a month, or in cases of delivering speeches that target Turkey’s integrity and the Turkish nation, insulting the president, Parliament, the speaker, the bureau of the assembly, group deputy chairmen or the constitutional order. If a deputy brings a gun to Parliament or commits assault, he or she may also be handed a temporary ban.
Speaking at an opening ceremony in Parliament yesterday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan elaborated on the novelties of the presidential system.
“Legislation will not be under the control of an executive organ anymore. Legislation will be the responsibility of the deputies. In case a decree contradicts the law, the law will remain valid… As the separation of power is getting clearer in the new system, citizens will have the power to make the final decision. Turkey has adopted such a system where national interest will always come first.”
He added that Parliament should work on making the new system more efficient, saying that comprehensive judiciary reform should be made to help Turkey become one of the world’s 10 major countries.
He said that Turkey has been growing rapidly. The 5.1-percent growth rate symbolizes the country’s determination.
Stating his will to make Turkey a major world power, Erdoğan said that he expected the government to take measures that will ease the lives of Turkish citizens.