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Iran Press TV

Erdogan urges nation to vote for stronger presidency as purge continues

Iran Press TV

Wed Feb 8, 2017 2:47AM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the nation to vote in favor of bolstering his presidential powers, stressing that failure to do so will strengthen militants trying to divide the country.

On Tuesday, Erdogan said that he is currently evaluating the legislation on the constitutional reforms package aimed at an executive presidential system in the country.

Last month, the Turkish parliament voted in favor of the reform bill which removes the country's current parliamentary system, allowing Erdogan to serve two five-year tenures in office, meaning he could be leading Turkey until 2029.

Following the president's approval, the bill will be but to a referendum, which will probably be held in April.

"I believe my people will never give a positive sign to Qandil, Imarali, and those terrorizing out country," said Erdogan in reference to northern Iraq's Qandil mountains, where the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorist group has headquarters and the Imrali prison island, where the PKK's leader is being detained.

A shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015, and attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.

Turkey's post coup purge continues

Meanwhile, Turkish authorities have fired some 4,500 civil servants as part of a purge following the last year's failed coup.

According to the country's Official Gazette, 4,464 people were sacked, almost half of whom from the education ministry and some from the police force and the TRT television channel.

As the country remains in a state of emergency since the coup, the dismissals do not require parliamentary approval and are solely authorized by the cabinet.

Ankara has arrested over 35,000 people and sacked over 100,000 others over suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric that Ankara accuses of having masterminded the coup attempt. Gulen rejects the charges.

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