AKP suggests presidential system for Turkey in line with Erdoğan’s insistence
AA PhotoTurkey’s ruling party has promised to change the country’s administrative system from the current parliamentary one to a presidential system in line with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s insistent calls, citing the new constitution as the first job of the next parliament to this end.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu set his ruling party a goal of reaching up to 55-60 percent of the votes that would provide his party a legislative majority that would be sufficient to amend the constitution.
“We envision the presidential system as a governance model within the frame of a pro-freedom constitution in which legislative and executive powers are independently efficient, democratic checks-and-balances mechanisms exist and societal diversity is politically represented. We invite all political parties and nongovernmental organizations to this process of restructuring,” Davutoğlu said as he read the 100-article “2023 New Turkey Contract,” along with his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) election manifesto.
Davutoğlu read all 100 articles of the contract and introduced his 550 candidates for the June 7 parliamentary elections. He said he exchanged a phone call with Erdoğan late April 14, a day before he outlined his first election manifesto.
Four articles of the contract are directly linked to the presidential system, which Davutoğlu had already said he wrote personally.
“There is a need to rearrange executive power and the administrative system that have been dysfunctional because of a confusion of authority. Putting the balance of authority-responsibility to the executive power … is a must for the implementation of the principles of efficiency and accountability in government,” he said.
Davutoğlu said they were regarding the adoption of the presidential system as necessary in order to avoid confusion about authority and the establishment of genuine accountability, especially after the Turkish people directly elected their president in 2014.
“Under no circumstances will executive power be open to constitutional control just like legislative and judicial powers,” he added.
‘On the road to New Big Turkey’
Davutoğlu cited the 12 years of AKP governments under Erdoğan’s prime ministry as the first developmental thrust and described his rule starting from the June 7 elections until 2023 as the second thrust that will bring genuine growth and in-depth development to Turkey. Reiterating his government’s objective to make Turkey one of the world’s top 10 economies by 2023, the centennial of the foundation of the Turkish Republic, Davutoğlu said, “In the core of our election manifesto lies human dignity. We are determined to take steps to let each and every of our citizens live a life befitting human dignity.”
“We are building a strong and powerful Turkey. This is a manifesto to build [Turkey]. Those who will rule this country in the future will take the [AKP] eras as examples for centuries. They will tell how a sleeping giant woke up by highlighting [AKP] governance,” he added.
Harsh criticisms for political rivals
As he outlined the AKP’s manifesto, Davutoğlu also targeted his three main political rivals in his long address. While criticizing the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for their failure to produce a vision for the future of Turkey, Davutoğlu mainly targeted the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and its co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.
“I call on the spokesperson of terror, the HDP and Demirtaş: Leave aside chameleon politics. Tell us what your sincere intention is. Abandon hypocrisy,” he said, accusing the HDP of talking about peace in the west while promoting violence and terrorism in the east of Turkey.
“They should better know that we have taken our lesson from the Oct. 6-7  incidents. This same Demirtaş had turned traitor during the Oc.t 6-7 incidents and called the people for an uprising. But they should know that we will provide ballot safety at all costs,” he said, in reference to a massive uprising of Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin in early October last year in reaction at the government’s alleged support for jihadists against the People’s Defense Units (YPG) and Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) in Kobane. Upwards of 50 died, most of them at the hand of security services or far-right elements in cities around Turkey.
Establishing unity in the Muslim world
Here are some excerpts from the AKP’s 2023 New Turkey Contract:
-The fundamental principle of the Republic of Turkey is the protection of human dignity. Human dignity constitutes the pillar of our country’s political, economic and cultural order as well as of our foreign policy.
-Every freedom requires responsibility. Freedom of the press and expression requires a press ethic that respects private life; freedom of entrepreneurship requires legitimate and taxed winnings and freedom of faith requires respect for other beliefs.
-We announce that we, as democratic powers taking our legitimacy from the people, will take a common attitude against coup attempts similar to those of the past, as we condemn direct coups staged on May 27, 1960, March 12, 1971, and Sept. 12, 1980 as well as indirect ones on Feb. 28, 1997, April 27, 2007, and the one by the “parallel structure.”
-Our perspective for EU membership will remain. Our leading and visionary role that would establish permanent stability and peace in our neighboring regions, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East, will be reinforced. Particularly, all sorts of efforts will be exerted for the establishment of unity and a peaceful environment in the Islamic region which is passing through an era of internal tension.