Shortly after the passing of an omnibus bill that also gives the President the authority to increase special consumption tax (ÖTV) by up to 5 times, the Turkish Parliament on July 15 went into a summer recession. The Parliament will reopen on Oct. 1.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used his new expanded authority on the night of the Parliament’s closure and the nation faced a more than 200% increase in ÖTV implemented on fuel and natural gas. The 21% increase in fuel and natural gas prices are expected to affect the price of other items, worsening the unstoppable inflation.
The opposition bloc consisting of six parties, referred to as the “Table of Six” or Nation Alliance, has launched a work to discuss the deteriorating economy.
Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollağlu and Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu contacted other leaders of the opposition bloc and came to an agreement on the necessity of an extraordinary meeting in the Parliament addressing these tax increases.
The six leaders have assigned parliamentary group leaders to conduct the work and prepare the necessary text calling on the Parliament to convene.
For an extraordinary session to be held at the Parliament, the signatures of 120 lawmakers (corresponding to one-fifth of the total number of lawmakers) are needed. Afterwards, the Parliamentary Speaker gives their approval for the issue to be voted on. If 200 lawmakers vote in favor, the extraordinary session takes place. The number of lawmakers of the Nation Alliance is sufficient to attain this number.
The work undertaken by the opposition bloc will be their first cooperation after the May general elections.
Meanwhile, the İzmir Bar Association on July 17 announced that it will take the government’s new tax increases to the court, saying such moves are in violation of the Constitution.
Their written statement said that former Finance Minister Nurettin Nebati “pushed the country to the cliff’s edge.” “With the (presidential) decrees issued at midnight or towards morning, the political rulership is pushing citizens, who are living the worst economic period of the Republic history, to worse days and conditions,” the bar said.