By Ilkay Guder and Kemal Karadag
ANKARA (AA) - There is not an atmosphere in Turkey that forces the country to hold a snap election, Turkish ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker and Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said on Friday in a TV interview in Ankara.
“This is not because we are afraid of an election. AK Party is always ready for elections. But the political atmosphere we are passing through doesn’t require a snap election,” he said in a live interview with Turkish private broadcaster NTV.
The issue of a snap election was first put forward by the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli following Wednesday’s session of the parliament on a constitutional change.
He stated that [members of ] the parliament should be renewed if it was non-operational, indicating a snap election.
Following his statement, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the ruling AK Party announced that they were ready if there was such a situation.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said Friday that a snap election might be a choice if the parliament fails to work.
While speaking on the ongoing debate on the constitutional changes in the parliament, Kaynak said the strain and harsh discussions between lawmakers can be understood as Turkey is going to change its current parliamentary system into a presidential one.
But he criticized the CHP lawmakers' vandalism in the assembly recalling that the parliament is a place where lawmakers can deliver their thoughts and criticism -- as their voters expect -- but should not use force for their opinion to be accepted.
Kaynak stated the constitutional change would not give more power to the president.
"It just would allow a president a political base as he or she is appointed through a popular election," he added.
While answering a question on providing citizenship to Syrian refugees, the deputy PM said that authorities have been working on the issue.
There are high educated, skilled and work permit holder Syrians, he noted.
“We are working to provide Turkish citizenship to these people as the primary step.”
He said that the authorities had already determined around 20,000 families - which could sum up almost 90,000 people - for the initial phase of the process.
But these people have to go through several security and intelligence tests, he added.