Erdogan: Presidential system will ensure political stability

Turkish President Erdogan says presidential system would represent both people and state

Updated Jul 28, 2015


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday a presidential system would ensure political stability.

Speaking at a symposium at Bilkent University in Ankara on Thursday, Erdogan said: "We do not want a president who only represents the state, but a presidency that represents the people along with state."

The entire world of Turkish politics has been caught up in the debate about whether the country needs a presidential system to replace the current parliamentary system, a move strongly backed by the government and Erdogan.

However, at the moment, the ruling Justice and Development Party does not have enough seats in the Turkish parliament to vote for a constitutional change such as the introduction of a presidential system.

According to the current Turkish Constitution, such an amendment requires the approval of a two-thirds majority in the parliament, or the votes of 367 members out of 550 lawmakers. Only then can the president approve it or hold a referendum on the matter.

Erdogan also argued against the idea that a possible presidential system in Turkey might turn the government into a "dictatorship."

"In a discussion of the presidential system, it is certainly not possible to get realistic and functional results while talking about people, not principles and data," he said.

Turkey will hold parliamentary elections on June 7.

A constitutional amendment or a new constitution would be needed to set up a presidential system in Turkey. The country's current constitution was drafted two years after a military takeover in 1980 and numerous amendments have been made to it since then.