Democracy will be bolstered on upcoming referendum day, says PM
by Daily Sabah
ANKARAMar 02, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 02, 2017 12:00 am
As Turkey prepares for a referendum on the constitutional amendment package that is set to usher in a presidential system and replace the current parliamentary one, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) leader and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said yesterday that with the April 16 referendum Turkey's democratization process will be in much stronger shape than it was in the past.
Speaking at the referendum rally in northern Turkey's Amasya province yesterday, the prime minister addressed the public on the content of the package and on its possible gains.
He said that Turkey's current two-headed executive system was an obstruction to political stability, which is a prerequisite for welfare.
Yıldırım added that, in the past, the governmental decision-making mechanism was hindered because of conflicts between the prime minister and the president, with numerous negative consequences on Turkey's political, social and economic developments.
"The AK Party government works in harmony with the president at present. However, such harmony is only transitory. Thus, we do not know what the future will bring after the AK Party government. For this reason, the president, elected by the Turkish nation is important," he said while indicating that Turkey's present stability was due to its leading figure, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Responding to criticisms that the constitution was being changed in accordance with President Erdoğan's personal thoughts to create one-man rule, Yıldırım said the constitutional change would be a positive gain for every individual living in Turkey.
Emphasizing that the constitutional amendment was not related to regime change, Yıldırım pointed out that the new governmental system will likely strengthen the essential tenets of the Turkish Republic.
He stressed on a strong governmental system where both parliament and president were elected by the Turkish nation, saying it was necessary to provide Turkey with a clear separation of power.
The prime minister also drew attention to the importance of the nation's will for a change and criticized the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), who went to the Supreme Court many times to undo the nation's decision.
"Instead of trusting the people's will, they [the CHP officials] trusted the courts. They always issued a work over the courts until today… They continue to say ‘no' to whatever is good for Turkey," Yıldırım said.
He addressed the CHP, which did not work with the AK Party during the preparation phase for the constitutional change. He criticized their position and added, "We would have liked to work with the CHP during the constitutional amendment process in parliament. We told them, if you are against the presidency system [that is foreseen in the amendment package], you should also offer an amendment package and then we could have discussed it in parliament. At the end of this business [at the Parliament], our nation will make the final decision [in a referendum]," Yıldırım pointed.