Turkey needs one captain, not two: PM Yıldırım

Turkey needs one captain, not two: PM Yıldırım

Turkey needs one captain, not two: PM Yıldırım

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A strong parliamentary system cannot coexist with a directly elected president as “there cannot be two captains in one seat,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said Feb. 1, underlining the need for a presidential system in Turkey. 

Yıldırım said constitutional changes that were put to a referendum in 2007 that paved the way for the direct election of the president through a public vote was the initial step toward today’s executive presidential system.

“The condition of that day allowed that much; today we are completing the missing part, that is, the continuation of that [change]. What will happen if we do not do this? The dual-headed [system] will continue,” said Yıldırım. 

“On one hand, there is a strong parliamentary system and on the other hand, the president that people elected directly. There cannot be two captains in one seat. There should be one captain.”

He also said the main opposition leader was denying “the will of the nation” after Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said the constitutional amendments were imposed on the public despite a lack of general consensus.

“[Kılıçdaroğlu’s comment] ignores parliament. This constitution was discussed in parliament. It means denying politics and the national will. It’s an unfortunate statement. I think it would be good for him to amend this unfortunate statement as soon as possible,” Yıldırım said Feb. 1.

His comments came after Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the constitutional amendment process in the parliament, arguing that the constitution was prepared without the mutual consensus of all parties.

“You [the AKP] should not make a constitution by imposition. Constitutions are the text of social consensus,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in a televised interview on Jan. 31.

Yıldırım slammed Kılıçdaroğlu, claiming that the CHP leader was ignoring the will of lawmakers.

“We discussed this constitution for a month. He was there. The parliament is the place where the public will is represented. While this was happening, to say that it is an imposition is to deny the people’s will. It is an unfortunate statement,” he said. 

Yıldırım also criticized the CHP’s arguments which underline that the constitutional charter will result in a “one-man regime.”

“They claim a dictatorship is coming, that there will be a monarchy and a sultanate. They are raising hell. Authority is attained between two ballots; if you are doing it well, you get it again. There won’t be a third term,” he said arguing that the new system would not allow one president or parliament to rule for more than two terms.

Yıldırım said the CHP’s arguments misrepresented the truth.

“When they could not find the right things and right objections to say, they found nothing but to embrace the untruth,” Yıldırım said.

“Let’s not exaggerate and not produce separate scripts for our own sake. Let’s tell everything right to the public,” he added.