Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, who is pushing for executive powers, cited Hitler’s Germany as an example of an effective presidential system, in comments broadcast by Turkish media yesterday.
Erdogan wants to change the Turkish constitution to turn the ceremonial role of president into that of a chief executive, a Turkish version of the system in the US, France, or Russia.
Asked on his return from a visit to Saudi Arabia late on Thursday whether an executive presidential system was possible while maintaining the unitary structure of the state, Ergogan said: “There are already examples in the world. You can see it when you look at Hitler’s Germany.
“There are later examples in various other countries,” he told reporters, according to a recording broadcast by the Dogan news agency.
The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, founded by Erdogan, has put a new constitution at the heart of its agenda after winning back a majority in a November election.
It agreed with the main opposition CHP on Wednesday to revive efforts to forge a new constitution.
Opposition parties agree on the necessity of changing the constitution, drawn up after a 1980 coup and still bearing the stamp of its military authors, but do not back the presidential system as envisaged by Erdogan, fearing that it will consolidate too much power in the hands of an authoritarian leader.
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