Turkey's parliament to debate greater powers for Erdogan

Turkey's parliament is set to consider draft constitutional amendments that would hand Recep Tayyip Erdogan's largely ceremonial presidency sweeping executive powers.

The assembly is kicking off debate on the proposed reforms on Monday. The proposals must clear two rounds of balloting in Parliament. If passed, the government will submit the package to a referendum for a final approval — possibly in the spring.

The ruling party, founded by Erdogan, is 14 votes short of the 330 votes required to pass the proposals but has the backing of the country's nationalist party.

Erdogan has been pushing for the proposal, insisting a strong leadership would lead to greater prosperity.

Critics fear that the changes would allow Erdogan, who is accused of authoritarian behavior, to rule unchecked.