Turkey already has de facto presidential system: Minister

Turkey already has de facto presidential system: Minister

Turkey already has de facto presidential system: Minister

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A presidential system has been “de facto” exercised since the country’s first direct presidential election in the summer of 2014, a senior governmental official, who has long served as a close aide to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has argued.

“With the president having been elected by the citizens upon a 2014 referendum, the provisions of the presidential system have been de facto exercised. We are saying: ‘Eliminate this contradiction,” said Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Binali Yıldırım on Feb. 24 in an interview with Anadolu Agency.

Political parties’ calculations have outweighed the making of a new constitution, Yıldırım argued, speaking days after the ruling and main opposition parties traded accusations over the dissolution last week of an inter-party parliamentary panel tasked with drafting a new charter after just three sessions. 

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) left the table on Feb. 16, complaining the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had attempted to link all issues to changing Turkey’s governance from a parliamentary system to a presidential system.

“The only solution for stability is the presidential system. That’s why we are willing to have it discussed, but without prejudices so that people would understand the positive and negative aspects of it,” he said, dismissing concerns that such a change would divide the country. 

The executive and administrative systems were two different things, he recalled. “The Republic of Turkey has had a unitary system since its foundation. Its regime is a democracy but not a federal state. What we say is that Turkey is a republic with a democratic regime. That can contain either a presidential or a parliamentary system,” he said.