Turkey’s main opposition leader vows to strengthen parliamentary system

Turkey’s main opposition leader vows to strengthen parliamentary system

Turkey’s main opposition leader vows to strengthen parliamentary system

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Despite delivering a message of hope for the New Year, Turkey’s main opposition leader has argued that the country’s governance is “bankrupt” and called for efforts that would strengthen the existing parliamentary system.

Calling the creation of a new constitution and laws “democratization project for Turkey,” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu stated that Turkey must strengthen its 200-year-old parliamentary system through a libertarian constitution that emphasizes the separation of powers and rule of law, and the elimination of Sept. 12, 1980 coup laws, in an article published in the daily Cumhuriyet on Jan. 1. He also warned that “one person’s career calculation” was threatening to shape “this democratization project, in a veiled reference to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s desire for a presidential system. 

“There is a need for steps that would involve the person holding the president post, who is [currently] trying to rule the country with his dictatorship reflexes as a result of his greed for power, [to stay] within boundaries defined by the parliamentary system,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“Those steps will be taken; everybody will withdraw to their legal boundaries and our parliamentary democracy will become stronger,” he said in his article, which was filled with hope for the year 2016.

Meanwhile, he also pointed out deficiencies in Turkey’s current political climate.

“This [present] understanding of governance, which is a supporter of absolute rule, polarizing and confrontational, has turned Turkey into a country whose problems have become chronic and where fields of societal conflicts expand by each passing day. Today, our country is dealing with five fundamental fields of problems, which are the sources of all the grievousness we have been experiencing,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. In an earlier statement, Kılıçdaroğlu had claimed that the 92-year-old republic was currently going through a time of major crisis and listed its key problematic areas as “terror, economy, education, societal peace and law.”

“Those who are keen for dictatorship consider 2016 as the year when they will reach their ambition but they are wrong,” he said. “A Turkey that has been dragged into cycle of terror and violence, whose judicial mechanism has lost its independence, in which press members, such as Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, who are after truth have been detained, whose people have been polarized and that has become isolated in the world” will be “shaken off” in 2016, he said. “We are carrying grievances of our children who were slaughtered in Suruç and Ankara; grievances experienced in Cizre, Silopi and Nusaybin; and precious memories of our martyrs to 2016. But 2016 will bring a new era during which we will smile and laugh all together,” he added.