PM Yıldırım to leave post with sense of accomplishment

PM Yıldırım to leave post with sense of accomplishment

Fikret Bila - ANKARA
PM Yıldırım to leave post with sense of accomplishment Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters on May 6 that he is happy to have successfully completed his duties as Turkey’s last premier, as his post is soon to be abolished following the constitutional changes approved in the April 16 referendum.

Yıldırım made the comments on a flight back from Moldova, where he met Moldovan counterpart Pavel Filip to discuss new bilateral agreements. 

“I have the serenity of completing a task I believe in. I feel at peace with having done a good job for the homeland. This administrative system [the new presidential system] has been the topic of discussions since the Republic [of Turkey] was founded,” Yıldırım said while responding to a question on how he felt about being the “last prime minister” of the country.

Yıldırım said the new system would make the government stronger and more decisive and better able to defend the country against threats such as coup plots.   

As the new system requires that a presidential candidate capture more than 50 percent of the vote to be elected, “Turkey’s unity and integrity will be continuous,” he said, adding that there would be no more place for weak coalition governments. 

“There will be strong governments. Turkey has always lost what it has gained due to weak governments and military coups. There will be no such weakness anymore,” he said. 

Asked if there was an economic reform package on the way, the premier said: “The government is preparing a new economic reform package. The election [April 16 referendum] is over, now it is time to make a living.”

‘Of course we’ll invite Abdullah Gül’

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is planning to hold an extraordinary congress on May 21, with the party preparing to choose President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as its de jure leader again. 

Erdoğan will be nominated to the leadership with the signature of a total of 1,470 delegates at the extraordinary congress. Yıldırım will be the first to sign the document.
Asked if former President Abdullah Gül would be invited to the congress, Yıldırım said: “Of course we will invite him. There is no distinction between the ‘former’ and ‘new’ with us. We will invite everyone who has been with us since the party’s foundation.”

Gül’s name has been at the center of political discussions in the country since former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal speculated that Gül could run in the coming presidential elections against Erdoğan. The former president, however, dismissed the speculations, indicating that Baykal’s comments were “unimportant.” 

‘CHP already disconcerted, let’s not pile on’

Reporters also asked Yıldırım his opinions regarding the recent resignation of CHP deputy Selin Sayek Böke from her position as spokeswoman and vice president responsible for the economy, as well as the dissident voices in the party. 

“The [CHP] is already disconcerted. Let us also not pile onto them [with our comments],” Yıldırm said.

In her resignation announcement on May 6, Böke criticized the party for effectively conceding defeat in the April 16 referendum despite what she said was a “usurped” vote.

“After important changes, this always happens with CHP; this is not a current situation. Following elections, voices definitely rise in the CHP,” Yıldırım said.

“What happened today is a just a repetition of that. It is not correct for us to mettle with the CHP’s internal matters,” he said.