Turkey’s president says he will share his thoughts during contest ‘at every opportunity,’ despite criticism.
ANKARA – Turkey’s president has rejected accusations that he has breached the country’s constitution by giving political speeches, claiming it is “unexceptional” for him to “stand aside in this process.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was speaking at the Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers’ 26th General Assembly in Ankara on Friday.
He said that, as Turkey’s first popularly elected president, he would “express my thoughts and views about my country and my nation during this election at every opportunity.”
Erdogan had faced a legal complaint earlier this week launched by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
The HDP filed a case with Turkey’s Supreme Election Board claiming Erdogan was not being impartial as president during campaigning ahead of the country’s June 7 general election.
The Board later rejected the HDP complaint.
– Presidential system
Erdogan told the Ankara audience of his ambition to convert Turkey into a presidential system after the parliamentary elections, saying: “The world’s most advanced countries have a presidential system. We also need to reform our system in an administrative way.”
“I started these discussions for my country’s and nation’s future,” Erdogan added.
“Only the people of Turkey can decide about the presidential system. Who knows who will be the president when Turkey is transformed into this system?,” he said.
The issue of a potential presidential system has been a hot topic in Turkey for the past few months.
A constitutional amendment or a new constitution would be needed to establish such an executive presidential system.
Turkey’s current constitution was drafted two years after a military takeover in 1980 and numerous amendments have been made to it since then.