Turkish President Points to Hitler's Germany as Appropriate Type of Government

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Erdogan waves to his supporters after he casts his vote outside a polling station in Istanbul, November 1, 2015.Credit: AP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used Hitler's Germany as an example of the sort of presidency he wants to introduce in his country, the Today's Zaman website reported.

Speaking at a press conference late on Thursday, Erdogan was asked whether a presidential system could be adopted while keeping the country's unitary structure.

“There is no such thing as 'no presidential system in unitary states.'" Erdogan said. "There are examples of this around the world. There are examples in the past, too."

"When you look at Hitler's Germany, you can see it there. You can see examples in other countries as well," Erdoğan said.

"What is important is that a presidential system should not disturb the people in its implementation. If you provide justice, there will be no problem because what people want and expect is justice."

Erdogan, who was prime minister before winning the presidency, wants to convert his current, semi-ceremonial role into an executive presidency that he calls a “Turkish-style” presidential system. It would be similar to the presidencies of the United States, Russia and Turkey.

Such a presidency, he maintains, will help the country's development by eliminating "double-headedness" in state governance and pave the way for a more effective decision making system.

Erdogan's ruling AK Party has put a new constitution at the heart of its agenda, after winning back a majority in a November parliamentary election. It agreed with the main opposition CHP on Wednesday to revive efforts to forge a new constitution.

Opposition parties agree on the need to change the constitution, drawn up after a 1980 coup and still bearing the stamp of its military authors, but do not back the presidential system envisaged by Erdogan, fearing it will consolidate too much power in the hands of an authoritarian leader.

A parliamentary system has been the defining characteristic of all Turkish government's during its more than 60 years of multi-party politics. Even during its four military coups, which included the execution of a prime minister, it has never attempted to change its system of governance to a presidential one.

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