Referendum secured Turkey's future stability: Presidential spokesperson
LONDON – Anadolu AgencyTurkey’s new presidential system will end weak coalition governments and strengthen checks and balances, İbrahim Kalın, presidential spokesperson, has said.
Kalın wrote an article for U.K. newspaper the Guardian which said Turkey’s short-lived coalition governments of the past had crippled its economy, weakened national institutions and paved the way for coups.
“The new system of government, which will come into effect in November 2019, will make Turkish democracy more resilient by putting an end to weak coalition governments and strengthening checks and balances,” Kalın wrote.
“Since 1960 at least four elected governments have been removed from power by the military,” Kalın noted, adding Turkey’s parliamentary system had been engineered by the military “to keep the political arena fragmented”.
Pointing out that Turkey voted 51.4 percent in favor of constitutional reform in the April 16 referendum, Kalın said turnout was 85 percent.
“What made the vote exceptional was that, for the first time in Turkey’s modern history, the people, rather than coup plotters, got to decide with which system the country would be governed,” he wrote.
Kalın also said there were “conspiracy theories” against the result but Turkey’s main opposition (Republican People's) Party had no evidence “showing the referendum result did not reflect the people’s preferences”.
“Their main argument was that the failure of polling station officials to stamp the ballot forms would render them invalid.
“Ironically, the same party, in an application filed with the SEC in 2015, argued that procedural mistakes made by polling station officials did not invalidate the votes. The council agreed, as it has numerous times since 1984.”
Kalın also cast doubt on the impartiality of some international observers.
“At the same time, it became clear that multiple international observers, whose preliminary report on the referendum was cited by the No campaign and the international press as proof of foul play, had taken sides in Turkish politics,” he said.
“Pictures of international observers posing with flags of the PKK -- which Turkey and the European Union consider a terrorist organization – have surfaced on social media,” he added.
“All the noise aside, Turkey, whose constitutional tradition dates back to the mid-19th century, took a giant leap forward toward a stronger, more consolidated democracy. Now it’s time to focus our attention on pressing issues,” Kalın wrote.
“Every nation faces a unique set of challenges and learns from their past. For the Turkish people, one of the most valuable lessons of the 20th century was that political stability was the driving force behind progress.
“Tens of millions of Turks have now voted to secure our country’s stability for generations to come,” he added.