Indonesia sets the perfect example for Turkey
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has two theses: The presidential system would uplift Turkey, as this is how developed countries are ruled, and there can also be a presidential system in unitary states.
I don’t know who is advising the president, recommending these ideas, but within G-20 countries, there is only Indonesia that is both a “unitary state” and ruled by the “presidential system.” Well, Indonesia cannot be regarded as a “developed” country; its national income per capita is about one-fourth of ours.
Among those G-20 members ruled by the presidential system, the Russian Federation is a federal republic ruled by a semi-presidential system. It has 85 federal units. The federation is made up of 21 autonomous republics that have their own constitutions, parliaments and presidents, 46 oblasts that have local legislative organs and presidents, krays, autonomous okurgs, one autonomous oblast and federal cities.
South Africa is four-zonal federative republic. It has three separate capitals. Pretoria is the administrative capital, Cape Town is legislative and Bloemfontein is juridical.
South Korea is ruled by a president; there is a strong separation of powers. Semi-autonomous “local governments” have their own legislative and executive organs.
The United States of America is a federal state ruled by the presidential system. As its name implies its states are united. The states elect their governors and there are assemblies that process their own domestic laws.
Argentina is a federal republic containing 23 states and one federal region. Every state has its own assembly and an elected governor.
Brazil is a federal republic with 26 states which all have (you have not heard this from me) their own flags.
Mexico is a federation made up of one federal zone and 31 states.
What I am trying to say is that we should discuss the issue at the correct platform. The presidential system alone is not a factor guaranteeing development just as the parliamentarian system alone cannot ensure development.
Mexico is ruled by the presidential system but it cannot be regarded as democratic; Indonesia is unitary presidential but not developed. The distinctiveness lies in how democratic a country is. Both of these systems supported by a strong separation of powers, while protecting the rights of the individuals within a democracy, can also enable economic development.
Applause for Erdoğan
Erdoğan is an advocate of the “unitary state” today, but he said this on March 30, 2013: “When you look at developed countries in the world, you will see that none of them have a fear of federal states. On the contrary, federal state structure brings faster development to these strong countries. This is the indication of strength… A strong Turkey should never fear a federal state system. You can protect your unitary structure in a state system. While we elect mayors, why should the governors not be elected by popular vote?”
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan revealed this in parliament and Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies reacted. They would have applauded if Erdoğan said those words; when somebody else says them then they shout, “Have you taken orders from the Kandil Mountains?”
It looks as if these guys need, more than any of us, “freedom of thought and possession of their own ideas.”