Turkish prime minister supports presidential system

Turkish prime minister supports presidential system
Presidential system is the right thing for Turkey, says Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu

The parliamentary system in Turkey must change in favor of a presidential system, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said — a move persistently requested by the Turkish president in recent months.

Davutoglu said Friday night in an interview with private TV channel Haberturk in Ankara: “A presidential system is the right thing for Turkey.” 

He denied media allegations that he and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were at odds over the idea.

“The system in Turkey is neither parliamentary, nor presidential nor half-presidential,” Davutoglu said.

He said the political system in Turkey must be a clear parliamentary system or a clear presidential one, so whoever has power is held accountable.

‘No conflict’

Davutoglu said: “Since the evolution toward the presidential system is essential, this issue will also take place in our election manifesto.

“I have personally written how the presidential system will take place in the election manifesto.”

Turkey will vote in a parliamentary election on June 7 in polls seen as a test for the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party for a possible future change in constitution in favor of a presidential system.

The prime minister said there was no conflict between him and Erdogan and the pair had a very deep-rooted friendship.

‘Important project’

Davutoglu said that the solution process — an initiative launched to end the decades-old conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a dispute which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people over about 40 years — “is Turkey’s most important project, and finally it will succeed at any rate.”

He accused the head of the left-wing pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, Selahattin Demirtas, of “sabotaging” the solution process twice in past months.  

Davutoglu said Demirtas had sabotaged the process firstly with his tweets, in the case of events on 6 and 7 October 2014, and three days before March 21 — Newroz — when he said that as long as his party existed, it will not be possible for Erdogan to be elected as the president of Turkey in a presidential system.

The tweets followed protests in Turkey’s southeastern provinces, sparked amid claims the Turkish government was allegedly not doing enough to save the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani from Daesh (the Arabic acronym for ISIL), left 40 people dead.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey as well as by the U.S. and the European Union.