Turkish PM to present new program to Parliament
( AP ) - Turkey's prime minister planned on Friday to lay out his program for the next five years, likely to focus on reforms designed to strengthen the economy and bring the Muslim country closer to European Union membership.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who won a second mandate in elections in July, was expected to read his government's program to Parliament.
His close ally, Abdullah Gul, won presidential elections in a parliamentary vote on Tuesday and swiftly approved a new Cabinet made up of politicians with Islamist and secular backgrounds.
Many new ministers have reformist streaks that signal the Islamic-oriented government's commitment to winning EU entry.
Legislators from Erdogan's Justice and Development Party are working on a draft proposal that overhauls the Constitution to make it more democratic, the government has said.
Erdogan's program was also expected to include measures to improve human rights and prevent torture.
The program was, however, not expected to include any measures to lift a ban on Islamic-style headscarves in schools and government office, according to Hurriyet newspaper. It did not cite a source.
The election victories of the ruling party and Gul came after months of confrontation with the secular establishment.
Their conduct is being watched closely for any signs they might relax secular laws. Gul, who has pledged to uphold secularism, has the power to appoint key officials and block legislation.
The government would press ahead with measures that helped bring down inflation from double-digit to single-digit figures in the past five years and increase transparency to fight corruption, according to Radikal newspaper.
The program would aim to more than double Turkey's exports within the next five years to $200 billion, Hurriyet reported.
Parliament was scheduled to hold a debate on the program on Monday before a vote of confidence on the government two days later.
Erdogan's party has a majority in Parliament and the vote of confidence is almost certain.