I am against the presidential system, but ready to discuss it

I am against the presidential system, but ready to discuss it

Again, the presidential system is back in our agenda. We will again listen to the same words. 

It is a very appealing system for those who yearn for strong leadership and who fear that we will go back to being trapped in periods of coalition governments. To be very frank, we are actually in a kind of a presidential system today anyway. Erdoğan acts exactly like a president. He can do whatever he wishes by giving orders without being controlled, even as much as the American president. 

In the front row of my objections to the presidential system comes from the example that while Erdoğan or somebody else may occupy the Çankaya presidential mansion, there could be a majority opposition party in the Parliament. In our political culture, there is no tradition of compromise as in France or the United States. Compromise, for us, equals making concessions. And that would lock the system. 

We should get used to coalitions. Democracy demands living in coalitions. 

Despite all this, why we do not want to discuss the presidential system, I don’t understand. What is there to oppose in the Prime minister’s approach? 

If the ruling Justice and Democracy Party (AK Party) has the intention to make such a change, it will act on it one way or the other anyway. Let’s discuss it so that those within the party who have doubts can have some enlightenment. 

Which one is right? 

There is a strange situation regarding the match-fixing incidents. 

On one hand, there are the decisions of the Federation’s Ethics Board and Discipline Committee, which are the experts of the topic. Yet their decisions are full of logical errors. There is both no crime and at the same time there are criminals. And they have ruled that the result of the match-fixing did not reach the pitch. 

What kind of a business this is, we were not able to solve. 

Also, there is an ongoing legal process. There is the huge indictment of the prosecutor, the transcripts of intercepted phone conversations and the acceptance of the indictment by the judges.

Either the Turkish Football Federation is making an enormous mistake, or justice is following an extremely wrong road.

Last call from Kriter Magazine 

Kriter was being published for six years; it is at its 71st issue. It is the only magazine focusing on developments in the European Union, Turkey-EU relations and the state of affairs of the negotiations. Kriter  shed light to developments in Turkey-EU relations up until today. 

I am among the small group who were striving to make this magazine survive. The cartoons drawn by Cihat Hazardağ on the cover of the magazine were put up in the walls of the European Commission. I have seen with my own eyes Kriter covers on the walls of Olli Rehn’s office, then-member of the commission in charge of enlargement. He explained how much he liked his own caricature. 

The magazine was a reliable source for the Turkish bureaucracy, researchers and academics. Its only revenue was from advertisements. As interest in the EU died, the ads also decreased. The private sector, which was enthusiastically supporting the magazine at the beginning, stepped back in time. 

Kriter  went bankrupt. It is the end of the road. In June, it will print its 72nd and last issue. 

The end of Kriter is also a sign of where Turkey’s relations with the EU are heading.