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Turkish police dispersed protest against constitutional changes using tear gas and water cannon
18:19, 9 January 2017
Turkish police dispersed protest against constitutional changes using tear gas and water cannon

The protesters were pushed back from the entrance to the complex of parliamentary buildings

18:19, 9 January 2017

Reuters

In Ankara, police used water cannons and tear gas to break up several hundred people who were protesting against changes to Turkey's constitution, which will include the provision of enhanced powers of the president of the republic Tayyip Erdogan, Reuters reported.

According to the report, the police succeeded in driving the protesters from entering the complex of parliamentary buildings.

Reuters

Protesters compared the actions of the authorities to conduct of "fascist regime" and declared that the country is under occupation.

One of the organizers of the rally was the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) as well as several non-governmental organizations and lawyers' associations.

Reuters

It should be noted that the Turkish Parliament planned to begin consideration of the proposed changes to the constitution today, that would significantly extend the powers of the  Turkish president.

According to the current provisions of the Constitution, Turkey is a parliamentary-presidential republic. However, since the introduction of the state of emergency after a failed coup in July 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received expanded powers through the adoption of decrees.

Draft of the constitutional reform would potentially allow Erdogan to stay in power until 2029.

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