By the Blouin News Politics staff

Turkey’s Erdogan wants more power, now

by in Middle East.

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce/flickr)

(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce/flickr)

What with an air campaign against Syrian Kurds, launched Thursday following a bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara, and an intensifying spat with Russia, President Recep Erdogan is busy. Yet even as international tensions rise, the Turkish leader can’t avoid political developments at home, where a long-hoped for constitutional project looks to be derailing.

On Tuesday, two opposition parties withdrew from a commission designed to draft a new constitution that would, Erdogan hopes, expand the powers of the presidential office. The project has been years in the making, gathering steam in 2011 as Erdogan, who served as Turkey’s prime minister for eleven years, saw the end of his premiership approaching. With no way to modify term limits, in 2014 Erdogan engineered a smooth transition to president (a largely ceremonial office) with Ahmet Davutoglu in his former post. Note that it’s Erdogan who largely remains in the driver seat – and the front pages — not his prime ministerial successor…

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