‘We should maintain parliamentary system,’ İhsanoğlu says

‘We should maintain parliamentary system,’ İhsanoğlu says

‘We should maintain parliamentary system,’ İhsanoğlu says

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Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the joint presidential candidate of the two main opposition parties, has said the current parliamentary system fits Turkey better than any presidential system would.

“My personal opinion is that parliamentary system suits us [Turkey]. If we leave this system, then it would harm us. There are not many examples of that. The most known example is in the United States.
But its history and ours are different. Our history is similar to Europe’s. Turkey has a different structure from the day it was founded,” İhsanoğlu said during a July 3 interview with CNNTürk, when his opinion on adopting the presidential system in Turkey was asked.

İhsanoğlu appeared on a television interview for the first time since he was nominated for the presidential race by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

He said the presidential system in the U.S. was totally different than Turkey’s system and warned that “a Frankenstein would be created, if only the head [presidential system] is adopted without changing the other structures of the state accordingly.”

He also said there should be a public consensus on a possible change of system in the country.

He also stated the president should guide politics as well as acting as a referee and a center of problem-solving. İhsanoğlu also said the president of Turkey should be neutral in politics, adding that “politics should be conducted in Parliament.”

The candidate noted the importance of harmony between the president and the prime minister for the sake of the political system, citing crises in Turkey’s history that had both disastrous political and economic effects.

İhsanoğlu also outlined his opinions about the ongoing Kurdish peace process, noting that the solution to the Kurdish problem should be discussed under the roof of the Turkish Parliament.

“Those who do not support the solution support the war. Those who do not side with peace side with death. We want peace. We want to heal these wounds… We have lost more than 30,000 people since the 1980s,” said İhsanoğlu.

However, he also underlined that the process should not continue “at all costs.”

“We need broader human rights in order to realize this process within our Constitution,” he said.

İhsanoğlu also said it was paramount that possible solutions to the Kurdish issue be discussed in Parliament.

“Such efforts should continue with great sensitivity. After a certain point, the Parliament should be involved in such processes. I am calling on all the political parties. This issue has to be discussed under the roof of Parliament. We have some obstacles and have to overcome them,” he added.

İhsanoğlu, the former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and an academic, also said the accession to the European Union is a significant goal for Turkey.

“The European Union is Turkey’s goal since the 1950s. Turkey has always wanted to join since those years. I think it is the last station for Turkey and the Turkish nation in the West. We would be able to complete a historical transformation if we achieve this goal,” he added.