The nation's main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), is opposing the proposed changes, arguing that the new system of governance will undermine Turkey's core values.
The party, in its campaign, says the changes will empower the president to continue the "purge" of the bureaucracy, police, military, judiciary and academia.
Here are CHP's main reasons for opposing to the proposed consitutional amendments:
• A disproportionate increase in the president’s authority. It opens the way for one-man rule.
• Transition to the presidential system is advocated through its success in the US, but it is different from the US version - the draft destroys the separation of powers and increases the executive branch’s powers extraordinarily.
• The draft is a step towards a systemic change rather than being a mere constitutional revision. If passed, the new changes lead the way to an authoritarian Turkey.
• There are no checks and balances in the proposed system. The president’s jurisdiction is extended without restrictions.
• The election of the president through popular vote does not necessarily guarantee the full representation of the national will. Curbing of checks and balances will lead to an arbitrary rule in the new system.
• In the new system, the executive powers are all gathered in the person of the president whereas currently, it rests in the government as well. The system proposes a one-man rule.
• The appointment and dismissal of the ministers and vice presidents are within the mandate of the president and parliamentary approval in their appointment is not necessary for the new system. Moreover, the legislative is further weakened by leaving it bereft of its right to dismiss or to oversee them. The institutions of the vote of confidence and questioning of the council of ministers are abolished.
• Under this proposed draft, the path to the president’s trial shall be commenced by the signatures of 301 deputies in the proposed 600-seat parliament. Parliament will be able to set up a commission of inquiry by secret ballot of 360 deputies. If the inquiry commission decides to send the President to the Supreme Court to face trial, the President will only be tried following a secret ballot of 400 deputies.