Europe

Turkey closer to expanding powers for President Erdogan

  • Ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, lawmaker Abdulhamit Gul, right, and opposition Nationalist Movement Party, MHP, lawmaker Mehmet Parsak speak to the media at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.  Turkey's ruling party submitted a constitutional amendment bill to parliament in a move that could expand the powers and extend the mandate of the country's president.  (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

    Ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, lawmaker Abdulhamit Gul, right, and opposition Nationalist Movement Party, MHP, lawmaker Mehmet Parsak speak to the media at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Turkey's ruling party submitted a constitutional amendment bill to parliament in a move that could expand the powers and extend the mandate of the country's president. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, lawmaker Abdulhamit Gul, right, and opposition Nationalist Movement Party, MHP, lawmaker Mehmet Parsak speak to the media at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.  Turkey's ruling party submitted a constitutional amendment bill to parliament in a move that could expand the powers and extend the mandate of the country's president.  (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

    Ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, lawmaker Abdulhamit Gul, right, and opposition Nationalist Movement Party, MHP, lawmaker Mehmet Parsak speak to the media at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Turkey's ruling party submitted a constitutional amendment bill to parliament in a move that could expand the powers and extend the mandate of the country's president. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's ruling party submitted a constitutional amendment bill to parliament in a move that could expand the powers and extend the mandate of the country's president.

Private news channel NTV channel on Saturday broadcast images of the speaker of parliament receiving the proposal which garnered 316 supporting signatures from the 550-seat assembly.

If approved by parliament, the reforms would pave the way for a referendum granting the largely ceremonial presidency full executive powers.

The amendments were proposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, with the newly won agreement of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP.

Critics of the plan fear it would allow Erdogan, who has retained outsized influence over his party and the lever of government, to rule unchecked.