Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shocked Turkey and the world last year, just after his election as a president of the country, when he inaugurated a big new presidential palace on the surroundings of Ankara which is bigger than Buckingham Palace (and the Kremlin, and the White House).
Last week, he came back to make another controversial statement in the media and as trying to explain that his desire for an expanded presidential role would not undermine democracy, pointing to the UK as an example :
"For me, Britain has a semi-presidential system. And the queen is the predominant element [in it]," he said, dismissing criticism that a transition to a presidential system in Turkey would give him the powers of a sultan. "Is there a presidential system in the US right now? There is. When it is in the United States, it's not a sultanate. When it's in Brazil, it's not sultanate. When it's in South Korea, it's not sultanate. When it's in Mexico, it's not sultanate. Why does it become a sultanate when an idea like this is debated in Turkey?" Erdoğan asked during the interview, which was broadcast live by the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) late on Thursday.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy, governed by a parliamentary system, but its hereditary monarch wields only symbolic power. The difference with Mr Erdogan is that “He” is the person who really rules the country.
Erdogan’s comments came after receiving criticism from the opposition that he would act like an “Ottoman sultan” once his presidential role has been increased.Erdoğan repeatedly claimed, during his interview, that Turkey needs, as soon as possible, a centralised political system in order to “strengthen the national will”.
He said that 10 in the G-20 group of countries are governed by presidential systems, as opposed to only eight that have parliamentary systems, arguing that a presidential system is a more effective way of governance and that “multi-headedness” in decision-making will slow down Turkey’s advance (Source: Todays Zaman)
Human rights groups have warned, repeatedly during the last months, that Turkey is experiencing a “dangerous rollback” of human rights and freedoms under Erdoğan and the Justice and Development (AK) party government, with the media and judiciary increasingly under the direct influence of AK party.
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