Parliament voted in favor of launching debates on a constitutional amendment package for a comprehensive change in Turkey’s governance system to create an executive presidency with the votes of 338 out of 550 deputies, eight more than required.
The initial vote on the issue at parliament was to decide on whether to proceed with debating 18 articles of the constitutional amendment package, with parliament to begin discussing articles one by one from Jan. 10.
After lengthy and tense discussions inside and outside parliament, some 338 lawmakers voted in favor while 134 voted against. Two lawmakers abstained and five cast blank votes in a secret ballot, with 480 lawmakers in the 550-seat parliament present for the voting.
Although the ballot was legally supposed to be secret, the voting was marked by gross violations, with many deputies casting their vote openly outside the voting booth. Some deputies in favor of the changes filmed the voting booths in order to record who took their ballot privately and who cast their vote openly.
During discussions on the amendment, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said it would “solve the problems Turkey will face in the future.”
“The changes will solve the problems that may arise in the future and the conditions in our country, and will remove some troubles we face as an administration,” Yıldırım told lawmakers in the general assembly. “There can be no administration without a will.