Turkish Parliament's legislative year begins today
Mehmet Haberal, a deputy from the CHP who was recently released from prison, will take his parliamentary oath today to be able to take on his duties as a lawmaker. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe legislative year will begin on Oct. 1 with a loaded agenda, especially with regard to the democratization package that requires various legal amendments.
However, a tight schedule awaits the Parliament for finalizing highly anticipated legal amendments as local elections are only six months away. Given the fact that the Parliament should start discussing the budget in mid-November until the end of the year and that it will be in recess for almost two weeks in mid-October, there will be not much time for the Parliament to conclude the necessary legal changes.
In addition, before starting its normal legislative activities, the Parliament should speedily renew the motion authorizing the government to send troops or to engage in a military operation in Syria as the current one will expire on Oct. 4. The government is planning to merge the motions regarding Syria and Iraq slated to end on Oct. 17 into a single mandate and is to pass it from the Parliament before Oct. 4.
Gül’s last opening
This year’s opening will also mark another important milestone as President Abdullah Gül will open the legislative year for the last time as his tenure will end next year in August. Speaking to reporters travelling with him from New York to Ankara, Gül stressed that his speech would touch on democracy and human rights but would not have a direct link with what the government announced on Sept. 30. Gül’s address to the Parliament last year included criticisms of the government, especially with regard to restrictions on freedom of expression.
Mehmet Haberal, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party, (CHP) who was recently released from prison, will take his parliamentary oath today to be able to take on his duties as a lawmaker. Haberal was charged with being one of the leading members of the alleged Ergenekon organization and served more than four years in prison.