Discussions needed for presidency: Gül

Discussions needed for presidency: Gül

ANKARA
Discussions needed for presidency: Gül

President Abdullah Gül wears the traditional ‘aba’ during his visit to the a southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. Presidential system should be debated, said Gül.

President Abdullah Gül wears the traditional ‘aba’ during his visit to the a southeastern province of Şanlıurfa. Presidential system should be debated, said Gül.

Discussions about a presidential system would be much more beneficial if they were done with knowledge and serious analyses, according to Turkish President Abdullah Gül.

“It’s very important to discuss all these issues with in-depth knowledge,” Gül told reporters Friday in Şanlıurfa, a southeastern Anatolian town. “Otherwise talks without content on the system are not discussions.”

Gül’s statement on the revisited presidential system debate reflects his already well-known stance with regard to changing the administrative system. Though he does not explicitly say, observers believe Gül is against a presidential system in principle.

Senior government officials launched a fresh campaign exploring whether the presidential system would better respond to Turkey’s needs and demanded a wide discussion of the issue on the sidelines of the constitution-making process.

Like Gül, Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek said the system could be discussed theoretically with conditions that balances are well preserved. “This issue could be debated during the constitution-making process. Whatever we discuss, we should know it,” he said.

The opposition parties, however, openly opposed the idea, expressing their concerns that this could lead to “dictatorship.”

Responding to the criticisms, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said the objections against the system were not scientific but political. “They oppose it because they identify presidential powers and authorities with the powerful leader [Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” he said. “They ask, ‘How would be our position if this already very successful man becomes the president?’”

Gül praises charter process

In other remarks, Gül praised the performance of Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission. “I see a wide consensus. And I notice that a very suitable methodology is being pursued,” he said, recalling that civil society was very active in contributing to the process by introducing its expectations for the new constitution openly.

Turkey, AKP; presidency