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The Monitoring Committee of PACE decided to request the Venice Commission’s opinion on amendments to the constitution in Turkey

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A delegation of the Venice Commission, headed by Honorary President Hanna Suchocka, has arrived in Turkey to hold talks with Turkish authorities on the recent constitutional amendments. The visit is conducted within the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the constitutional amendments requested by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The draft opinion of the delegation will be discussed by the Venice Commission in plenary in March 2017. The delegation visited Turkish Bar Association head MetinFeyzioğlu. He said the bar is an institution responsible for protecting the supremacy of human rights and law, informing the public and fighting against violations. The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) also decided to request the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft law regarding amendments to the constitution, which is due to be voted on in Turkey in a referendum in early April. The Venice Commission is expected to focus on the extent to which the principle of separation of powers is preserved and whether the new system will introduce effective checks and balances, though its report is not expected to be ready before mid-March. The commission had earlier visited the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in parliament on Feb. 20. The Venice Commission, which is the constitutional consultative body of the Council of Europe, visited Turkey on Feb. 6 to investigate the current embattled state of media freedom under the ongoing state of emergency.

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