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Turkey to begin debating new Erdogan powers

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim delivers a speech during a parliamentary session in Ankara, in July 2016Turkey’s parliament on Monday begins debating a controversial new draft constitution aimed at expanding the powers of the presidency under Recep Tayyip Erdogan that is expected to be put to a referendum by the spring. The new constitution, which would replace the basic law drawn up after Turkey’s 1980 military coup, seeks to set up for the first time a presidential system for ruling the modern republic created from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. Critics have claimed that the move is part of a power grab by Erdogan, premier from 2003-2014 and then president, for one-man rule in the wake of the failed putsch in July.

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