We will bring presidential system to Turkey, says PM

We will bring presidential system to Turkey, says PM

We will bring presidential system to Turkey, says PM

AA Photo

New Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has once again vowed to adopt a presidential system and change the country’s constitution, which he slammed as a “coup constitution,” stressing the country’s laws had to adapt to realities.

“We will make a new constitution and we will bring a presidential system to this country, to Turkey,” Yıldırım said in an address to the provincial chiefs of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on June 2, defining the process as the “most important task” for AKP supporters and the party itself.

“How can a president, who stood in front of 21-22 million citizens and asked for their support, come up and say, ‘I will not get involved in anything?’ Is there such a thing in politics?” Yıldırım asked, adding the president had a de facto responsibility, “whatever the constitution might say.”

“The constitution and the de facto situation need to be synchronized,” the prime minister said, criticizing the current constitution, which was shaped after the military coup on Sept. 12, 1980, but has undergone a number of amendments since, as a “coup constitution.”

The 1982 charter replaced the relatively more liberal constitution of 1961, which also was drafted after a military coup.

Yıldırım’s first address after officially taking the reins of power from former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu at an extraordinary convention on May 22 was to pledge for the adoption of a presidential system as part of a new constitution, in line with the demands of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Davutoğlu’s replacement came to the country’s agenda after a series of disagreements with Erdoğan, who is still perceived as the real leader of the AKP. 

“Although one argues that he [legally] has no responsibility, our president is a man of passion for Turkey and the people. His responsibility covers people’s problems. Therefore, the most important thing we have to do today is to turn this de facto situation into a legal one and thus end the confusion. The way to do [this] is the new constitution and presidential system in it,” Yıldırım said, after being elected the new AKP chairman in a snap congress where he was the sole candidate. 

Erdoğan has also been open about his intention to “institutionalize this new way of administration,” arguing his involvement in the AKP’s affairs, although a president is constitutionally bound to remain impartial, as “natural.”

“Some are disturbed that I am following closely the developments inside the party that is run by my friends of 40 years, which I founded and led for nearly 12 years. Why are you disturbed? What can be more natural?” Erdoğan said in a speech on May 6, a day after Davutoğlu announced his resignation, leading to criticisms over Erdoğan’s involvement in day-to-day politics.