Four articles were adopted overnight. The assembly has now approved 11 articles in the second round of voting. It is on track to pass the remaining seven articles and vote on the package as a whole on Friday night.

Turkey's parliament debates the constitutional reform package. Independent deputy Aylin Nazliaka (C) handcuffed herself to the podium in a protest against the proposed changes. (January 19, 2017)
Turkey's parliament debates the constitutional reform package. Independent deputy Aylin Nazliaka (C) handcuffed herself to the podium in a protest against the proposed changes. (January 19, 2017)

Turkey overnight Thursday edged closer to adopting a constitutional bill extending presidential powers. Parliament approved four more articles of the reform which opponents say concentrates too much power in the presidency.

During the evening debate an independent lawmaker, Aylin Nazliaka, handcuffed herself to the podium in protest against the reforms, triggering a scuffle between MPs of the governing AK Party and opposition parties.

The reform would enable the president to issue decrees, declare emergency rule, appoint ministers and top state officials and dissolve parliament - powers that the two main opposition parties say strip away balances to presidential power.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the revised constitution will provide stability at a time of turmoil and prevent a return to the fragile coalitions of the past.

The assembly has now approved 11 articles in the second reading of the bill. It is on track to pass the remaining seven articles and vote on the package as a whole on Friday night.

Providing it garners the support of at least 330 deputies in the 550-member assembly in the remaining votes, the legislation will go to a referendum, expected in the spring.​

The governing AK Party with 316 seats supports the bill, as does the nationalist MHP with 39 seats. The main opposition CHP and the HDP, the second largest opposition party, oppose the changes.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies