Constitutional amendment law published in Official Gazette, referendum campaign officially launches
According to the new law, the number of parliamentarians will be increased from 550 to 600 and the age of candidacy is lowered from 25 to 18. With regards to elections, Turkish Grand National Assembly and presidential elections will be held every five years on the same day. The elected president will maintain party political affiliation. The presidential aides and ministers will be appointed and unseated by the president. The establishment and abolition of the ministries, appointment of positions and authorities, the organization structure and the establishment of the central and provincial organizations shall be held with presidential decree. The referendum will be held on April 16.
“A ‘no’ vote will cause Turkey to be in chaos,” said Bahceli.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with AKP on the presidential system, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli responded to the question, “what happens if polls say ‘no’ at referendum?” with “Turkey will be in chaos.” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu responded to Bahceli’s remarks. He said, “If people vote “no”, the country will take a deep breath. There is a silver lining in ‘no’.”
Port of Izmir also transferred to new sovereign wealth fund
Following Turkey’s most strategic institutions, the country’s most strategic port, Port of Izmir in Alsancak, is also transferred to sovereign wealth fund with authority to lease or sell.
Officials state the Port of Izmir will be managed by Turkish State Railways (TCDD) until the sale. The port is planned to be privatized in next 49 years.
Turkey’s first woman general candidate released after taken under custody for confession statements in July 15 betrayal.
Following July 15 coup attempt, Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar’s secretariat Turkish Air Force Staff Lieutenant Colonel Bilgehan Bulbul and her husband Turkish Air Force Staff Lieutenant Colonel Nail Bulbul were among 11 soldiers referred to court for arrest warrant. The Bulbul couple and one other suspect was released under judicial control upon questioning by judges. The couple denied all charges. Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar, along with the army, navy and air force commanders, paid a surprise visit to the disputed Kardak islets in the Aegean Sea on January 29. Lieutenant Colonel Bilgehan Bulbul was among the names accompanying the commanders and was detained upon her return to Ankara.
Two ISIS militants planning group attacks in Europe were caught in Adana
Investigations revealed two ISIS militants of Danish and Swedish nationality arrested in Turkey’s southern province of Adana had entered Turkey with false identification and were prepared to carry out group attacks in Europe. Police found fake refugee identities on the suspects upon detention. The suspects were identified as Mahamad Laban, a Danish citizen of Lebanese origin, and Mohammed Tefik Saleh, a Swedish citizen of Iraqi origin. The suspects had crossed from Turkey to Syria and joined ISIS in 2014, police reported. The two suspects received weapons and explosives training in Syria for the past three months. Officials detected the suspects had been trained for a large bloody attack in Europe and had entered Turkey with fake refugee identities for this reason.
Operations launched against PKK’s financial resources in Istanbul.
Anti-Terrorism Units raided terrorist organization PKK’s financial resources in Istanbul’s Kucukcekmece district. Multiple addresses are targeted as part of the counterterrorism operation.
Court orders arrest of Peru’s former president in corruption case.
A Peruvian court has issued an arrest warrant for former President Alejandro Toledo on suspicion of corruption. The court sentenced the ex-president to 18 months of imprisonment. Ex-President Toledo is accused of receiving $20 million in bribes from a Brazilian construction company in exchange for permission to build highways. Toledo served as president from 2001 to 2006. Currently living abroad, he has denied any wrongdoing.