Tyrkias statsminister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sier regjeringspartiet AKP ønsker å endre grunnloven slik at dommere og etterforskningsdommere får mindre makt. Det er grunn til å spørre om AKP bruker behovet for reform som påskudd til å befeste sin makt.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) says its constitutional reform package is needed to curb the power of judges and prosecutors, and has threatened to call a referendum on reforms.

The proposals come in the midst of renewed tensions with the military following the arrests of more than 30 officers, including two retired generals, charged with plotting in 2003 to overthrow the government.

«We are not talking about an A to Z change in the constitution,» Mr Erdogan said, adding that the changes would focus on areas such as the judiciary and articles relating to political parties.

Turkey adopted a military-drafted constitution in 1982, two years after a coup by the armed forces. It enables Turkey’s Constitutional Court to ban parties which it deems a threat to Turkey’s secular identity.

The AKP narrowly survived an attempt to ban it in 2008, while the constitution was used most recently to shut down the only pro-Kurdish party in parliament last December.

Previous government attempts to change Turkey’s constitution, a key requirement for the country’s EU membership bid, have been blocked by the opposition, which suspects Mr Erdogan of seeking to impose Islamist rule by stealth and overturn the strict separation of religion and state.

Turkey’s AKP to change constitution, PM says