Erdogan cites Hitler's Germany to defend presidency plans

Published: January 1, 2016
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PHOTO: AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who is pushing for executive powers, cites Hitler’s Germany as an example of an effective presidential system, in comments broadcast by Turkish media on Friday.

Erdogan wants to change the Turkish constitution to turn the ceremonial role of president into that of a chief executive, a Turkish version of the system in the United States, France or Russia.

Asked on his return from a visit to Saudi Arabia late on Thursday whether an executive presidential system was possible while maintaining the unitary structure of the state, he said: “There are already examples in the world. You can see it when you look at Hitler’s Germany.”

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“There are later examples in various other countries,” he told reporters, according to a recording broadcast by the Dogan news agency.

The ruling AK Party, founded by Erdogan, has put a new constitution at the heart of its agenda after winning back a majority in a November parliamentary election.

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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.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 1, 2016 - 7:41PM

    There are later examples in various other countries,” he told reporters, according to a recording broadcast by the Dogan news agency.

    He did not refer to Pakistan parliamentry system on purpose, which has authorised the military to perform juditional tasks of civilian trials and approving death sentences. He effectively trimmed down the Kemalist army political role and encroachments in civilian administration and judiciary, confining them to serve the republic defenses.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • curious2
    Jan 1, 2016 - 7:52PM

    What an ego – who uses Hitler as an example of anything good?Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jan 2, 2016 - 2:27AM

    @Rex Minor:You did not under stand the article. Your remarks about Pakistan were irrelevant and out of context.. You should have quoted Saudi Arabia, Egypt etc. At least some one born who appreciated HITLER Recommend

  • Ashraf P
    Jan 2, 2016 - 8:36AM

    By the time this man is finished, Turkey will be a basket case. It is already half-way there.Recommend

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