President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that the presidential system best fits Turkey’s long-due needs and has urged lawmakers and parties in parliament to make a new constitution in accordance with the presidential system.
Erdogan has said, “The new constitution is naturally an important need [for Turkey]. New constitution will have been undoubtedly gained strength with bringing presidential system. The newly declared government programme also includes presidential system,” speaking to the journalists this week on his plane returning from his recent Qatar trip.
“Current government does not have power to bring [presidential system] by itself. But if other parties at the Parliament support constitutional change or at least they support a referendum to bring the constitutional change to the nation, then, it could be possible,” he recounted.
He has also emphasised that any constitutional change made by parliament should be carried to a referendum for its approval by the nation which is “the ultimate authority for this kind of measure.”
“An administrative structure supported by the nation itself will have carried the country into a different league. I believe presidential system will be rebounding Turkey into a critical level,” he added.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in his post-election victory speech on Nov. 1 that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will pursue constitutional changes to enhance the role of the president.
“It is obvious that the current system does not meet Turkey’s needs. This shirt is too tight for this country,” Davutoglu insisted.
Erdogan previously declared that the Turkish governing system has “virtually changed” anyway and now what it needed is to make it formal in the legal system of the country, speaking in his Black Sea hometown Rize in mid August.
He became the first publicly elected Turkish president on August 10, 2014.
Erdogan also said in his latest remarks that he thinks positively in regards to a French-style presidential system in reply to a question concerning the issue.
He commented further on the issue saying that, “The double-headed [governance] should be removed. Otherwise, there could be hardships at times even if you like each other so much, and have worked so long together in the past.”
“But if we have a presidential system in which the president can be a party member, then, it means we will have a version of the French-governing system. I think that would further strengthen [our system of governance],” he underlined.
Turkey currently has a parliamentary system in which the president should be neutral carrying no party membership.
Turkey’s present 1982 constitution, which has strengthened presidential powers, came in effect after the army overthrew the elected government by a military coup on September 12, 1980.