|Thursday, 12 December 2019|
Turkish Press Review, 07-04-27
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr>Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
 PARLIAMENT TO CONVENE TODAY TO ELECT PRESIDENTParliament is set to convene at 3 p.m. today to elect Turkey's 11th president. Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s candidate Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will either be elected as the president, if he can secure the votes of 367 deputies, or will open the way for early elections. Meanwhile, Gul seems to be resolved to continue his talks to the last minute to seek support for his presidency. The foreign minister yesterday met with his party's group deputy chairmen and leading figures, as well as Justice Minister Cemil Cicek. Speaking to reporters AKP's Faruk Celik said that they wanted to reach 367 votes today in order to elect Gul the president at the first round. On the other hand, he stated that they didn't believe the need of 367 deputies to begin the voting, adding, "This claim doesn't have any legal ground." /Turkiye/
 CHP AWAITS TO APPLY CONSTITUTIONAL COURTMain opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has already announced to boycott today's Parliament session but they will be closely monitoring the voting for presidency. The party will immediately apply to the Constitutional Court to annul the decision made, if Parliament convenes with less than 367 deputies. The Constitutional Court reportedly will decide as soon as possible. If the court annuls the decision, Parliament will be obliged to decide on the early elections. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which holds currently 353 seats in Parliament is trying to ensure 367 deputies present at the session in a move to stop the CHP from applying to the Constitutional Court. Since Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc has no right to vote, the AKP needs support of other 15 deputies either from the other parties or independent deputies. On the other hand, speaking about the critical voting procedure yesterday, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said that if he believed that a simple majority (184) was reached, he would open the session. "I won't look for the number 367," Arinc said, adding that everything would be in line with regulations. /Milliyet/
 ONE DEPUTY RESIGNS FROM AKPRuling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Amasya Deputy Hamza Albayrak yesterday resigned from his party. He argued that his decision is because of the AKP's failure in the fight against corruption, not related to the 367 discussions. Following his move, the distribution of seats in Parliament as follows: AKP: 353, CHP: 152, ANAVATAN: 20, DYP: 4, SHP: 1, HYP: 1, GP: 1, Independents: 10, Vacant: 8. Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Hatay Deputy Inal Batu is expected to resign his party today or early next week and join the True Path Party (DYP). After Batu's resignation, the number of CHP seats in Parliament will fall to 151. /Sabah/
 ANAVATAN, DYP TO DECIDE TODAY WHETHER OR NOT TO ATTEND PLENARY SESSIONFollowing a series of talks, opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) head Erkan Mumcu and True Path Party (DYP) leader Mehmet Agar are expected to make their decision today whether or not to attend Parliament's plenary session just before its convention this afternoon to elect the new president. Among the discussions of need of 357 deputies, the participation of the two parties' deputies in Parliament session has a vital importance for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to elect Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul as the new president. /Milliyet/
 ERDOGAN MEETS PRESIDENT OF ECHRPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday met with President of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Jean-Paul Costa and Turkey's Constitutional Court Chief Judge Tulay Tugcu at the prime ministry residence. /The New Anatolian/
 IRAQI FM ZEBARI VISITS TURKEYIraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, currently in Ankara, yesterday asked his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul to attend the enlarged conference of Iraq's neighbors. Gul said that it was almost impossible for him to attend the conference to be held on May 2-3 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt due to the presidential election. Zebari stated that Turkey's participation in the conference at the foreign ministry level was important for Iraq, adding, "We know that Iran and Syria's participation in the conference also depends on Turkey. In spite of your busy schedule, your participation in person is very important." Gul said that he was very busy due to the presidential elections and that if Iraq speeds up its attempts against the terrorist PKK, there might be a high-level participation. Ankara is reportedly to attend the conference with a high-level official, and this will most probably be Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan. /Cumhuriyet/
 LARIJANI, SOLANA MEET IN ANKARAEuropean Union's Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani yesterday met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Ankara. During the meeting, Solana presented a new formula to resume the nuclear negotiations. Solana reportedly suggested a partial suspension in Iran's enrichment program. Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Gul thanked Larijani and Solana for holding such an important meeting in Ankara. "We hope that the process regarding Iran's nuclear program will come to a positive conclusion through dialogue," said Gul. /Aksam/
 SIX-STOREY BUILDING COLLAPSES IN ISTANBULA six-storey apartment building yesterday collapsed in Sirinevler district of Istanbul due to construction work next to the building. The building was evacuated before it collapses but two people who went inside to take their belongings trapped beneath the debris. These two people were later rescued. Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbas and Bahcelievler Mayor Osman Develioglu also came to site and took information about the incident. /Hurriyet/
FROM THE COLUMNS...FROM THE COLUMNS... FROM THE COLUMNS...
 THE ENTIRE WORLD IS CLOSELY WATCHING TGNABY AYDIN AYAYDIN (SABAH)
Columnist Aydin Ayaydin comments on the procedure of the presidential election. A summary of his column is as follows:
"Today's agenda of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) is to convene for the first round of the presidential election. 367 votes are necessary in the first round to elect the president. Some circles including the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) allege that 367 MPs should be ready at the plenary session in order to start the elections and CHP says that if this number is not provided they are going to take the case to the Constitutional Court. I would like to share my views on the issue within the framework of the Constitution.
In the first paragraph of the Article 96 of the Constitution, it is written that "unless otherwise stipulated in the Constitution, the TGNA shall convene with at least one third of the total number members and shall take decision by an absolute majority of those present; however the quorum for decisions can under no circumstances be less than a quarter plus one of the total number of members." When the other articles of the Constitution are examined, it is seen that no other article is found about the quorum in the Constitution. Therefore, it is not possible to envisage different quorums for every different session. According to this article, the quorum for the sessions is 184 while it is 139 for decisions.
The President of the Republic shall be elected by a two-thirds majority of the total number of members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and by secret ballot. If the TGNA is not in session, it shall be summoned immediately to meet. In the following paragraphs, it has been decided when the election will start, when it will end and what will be done if the two- thirds majority cannot be obtained. The statement in the third paragraph of the Article 102 of the Constitution reading "If a two-thirds majority of the total number of members cannot be obtained in the first two ballots, a third ballot should be held" is in fact compatible with the statement reading "the candidate who receives the absolute majority of votes of the total number of members shall be elected the president."
It is a stipulation of the Constitution that if none of the candidates can obtain 367 votes in the first two ballots, a third ballot will be held; however the claim that a second ballot cannot be held if 367 votes cannot be provided in the first ballot is by no means in line with this article of the constitution.
Despite all of these, if 367 is not obtained and the main opposition party takes the issue to the Constitutional Court it seems that the court will negotiate the case immediately. It will examine the case taking into account Articles 102 and 96 of the constitution and decide accordingly. If it rules that 367 is not necessary for the session, the problem will be settled and Abdullah Gul will be elected the 11th president in the third ballot dated May 9. On the other hand, if it rules that 367 is a requirement, then the ruling Justice and Development Party's plan B which is an early election in sixty days steps in.
Therefore, this is a very important day and the entire world will be following today's session closely."
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