Turkey closer to expanding powers for President Erdogan

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.