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As President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s push for an executive-style presidency gains momentum after the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) secured a surprise election victory, the opposition parties remain unconvinced that the presidential system Erdogan wants includes checks and balances, claiming he is seeking a andquotTurkish-styleandquot presidential system.
Several AK Party figures and the spokesperson for the presidency have all suggested that Turkeyand’s first and foremost issue at hand is the drafting of a new constitution and the transformation of Turkeyand’s parliamentary governance system into an executive presidential-type one. Erdoganand’s spokesperson, ibrahim Kalin, said on Wednesday that Turkey may hold a referendum on the issue of an executive presidential system. and”An issue like the presidential system canand’t be decided without the nation. If the mechanism requires a referendum, then we will hold a referendum,andquot he told reporters. Similarly, Yalandcin AkDogan, a deputy chairperson for the AK Party, said, and”This system is becoming too small a fit for us,and” referring to the parliamentary system in place.
However, pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP)o-chair Selahattin Demirtai said, and”I donand’t see anything to change our [HDP] stance on the issue of the presidential system,and” referring to the HDP slogan before the June 7 parliamentary election, in which the AK Party lost its 13-year single-party majority: and”We wonand’t allow you [Erdogan] to become president [in a presidential system].and” and”Turkey needs a new constitution. Discussing the issue [of a new constitution] on the [pretext] of a presidency debate is wrong,and” he said. and”We [HDP] want a strong democratic parliamentary system, with strengthened decentralization.and” Demirtaiand’s statements came after Ayhan Bilgen, HDPand’s spokesperson, told the Cumhuriyet daily on Wednesday that the HDP is willing to and”debate the presidential systemand” with the AK Party. Bilgen later stated from his Twitter account that his words were misunderstood, claiming that he meant to say that the HDP would and”insist on being against a presidential system.and”
h2AK Party deputy: Presidential system not first on our agendah2 Former Parliamentary Justice Commission President Ahmet iyimaya has spoken out about the presidential system debate saying that different formulas could take the place of the presidential system. Speaking to the Russian news agency Sputnik, iyimaya said he does not find debating the particulars of a switch to an executive-style presidential system, and”inappropriateand” at this time. Pointing out that the first step should be a new constitution, iyimaya said, and”We [AK Party] see the presidential system as a rational choice against coalition failures, [as a requisite] for development, democratic progress and [a failsafe] against time consuming faulty [governance] systems.and”
h2HDP Mersin deputy: Turkey can discuss American or Mexican-style presidencyh2 Similarly, HDPand’s Mersin deputy Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat said Turkey and”can discuss an American or Mexican-style [executive] presidency,and” claiming that the HDP is only against a and”Turkish-style presidential system.and” Erdogan is the staunchest supporter of the formation of a and”Turkish-styleand” presidential system — a strong unicameral rather than a bicameral system that he claims will help the countryand’s development by eliminating andquotmulti-headednessandquot in state governance and thus pave the way for a more effective decision-making system. However, Erdoganand’s ambitions were hindered after the AK Party lost its majority on June 7. Firat, one of the founders of the AK Party, told the Cumhuriyet daily on Thursday that and”there were presidential systems in the Middle East like Saddam [Hussein], [Muammar] Gaddafi. What we [HDP] are against is a Turkish-style presidency emulating theirs,and” he said. and”I personally am not against the American-style presidency. But I do not think that Erdogan will accept this,and” said Firat, referring to the checks and balances of the American presidential system. and”The president [Erdogan] uses more authority than Obama. He [Erdogan] will not want an American-type presidency he wants a Middle East version,and” he added. Firat said that even if the constitutional change was done by the votes of 500 of the 500 deputies, it should still be proposed for a referendum. According to Sundayand’s election results, the AK Party is projected to field 317 seats in Parliament. Technically, the AK Party would need the support of 367 of the 550 deputies to amend the Constitution directly, and only 330 to take the proposal to a nationwide referendum. In August, Erdogan argued that Turkeyand’s government has been already changed into a de facto presidential system, as he called for a constitutional framework to andquotfinalizeandquot this transition. andquotYou can either accept it or not. Turkeyand’s governmental system has been de facto changed in this regard. What should be done now is to finalize the legal framework of this de facto situation with a new constitution,andquot Erdogan said during a speech in his hometown of Rize. Similarly, HDP Istanbul deputy Celal Dogan said Turkey should debate the American-type executive presidency, stating that debating the presidential system is not and”giving in.and” In a poll conducted by the IPSOS polling company immediately after the Sunday elections, it emerged that of the 1,614 people polled, only 31 percent were in favor of a switch to a presidential. In contrast, 57 percent said they favored the parliamentary system.
h2CHP group deputy chairman: We are against strengthening one-man ruleh2 The parliamentary group deputy chairman for the Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP), Levent GandOk, said his party is closed to a system change that envisages the strengthening of President Erdoganand’s authority. Speaking to the ANKA news agency on Thursday, GandOk said: and”We [CHP] always say that we are for the expansion of the freedoms of the people, the society and the public [at large]. We are for freedom of media, we will always argue this.and” and”However, we are against presidential systems which envisage the strengthening of one personand’s [Erdogan] authority,and” he said. Turkey has enjoyed nearly 140 years of constitutional rule since the inception of the Ottoman Constitution of 1876, known in Turkish as the Kananducircn-u Esandacircsandicirc, and the parliamentary system has been the defining characteristic of all constitutions to follow. Even in the 60-odd years of multi-party politics Turkey has seen, witnessing four military coups and even having a prime minister executed, Turkey has never taken a step to change its system of governance to a presidential one. Erdogan has emphasized the superiority of the presidential system many times in the past and said he wants to change the current parliamentary system of government to a strong presidential system. Claiming that most developed countries are governed by a presidential system — though this is not actually the case — he said in January: and”That shows that this [system] produces [better] results. Given this, why should we put shackles on our feet [by sticking to a parliamentary system]?and”

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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