December 5, 2016 / 5:37 PM / a year ago

Turkish PM says constitution plan to go to parliament after Russia trip

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Monday that the ruling AK Party would submit to parliament its proposal on constitutional changes expanding the powers of the presidency after his return from a visit to Russia this week.

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

“If there are no issues, we will bring to parliament the proposal after the Russia visit this week,” Yildirim told reporters before departing for Moscow.

President Tayyip Erdogan and his supporters argue Turkey needs the strong leadership of an executive presidency, akin to the system in the United States or France. Opponents fear the change will bring increasing authoritarianism to a country already under fire from Western allies over its record on rights and freedoms after a failed coup in July.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Nick Tattersall

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