Panelists: Current parliamentary system in favor of elites, not the people
by Daily Sabah
ANKARAApr 10, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Apr 10, 2015 12:00 am
The "Presidential System for Turkey: Democratization, Stability and Institutionalization" panel took place in Ankara on April 9. The panel was coordinated by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) to compare and contrast a possible presidential system and the current parliamentary system in Turkey, discussing the most common arguments against a presidential system.
The participants were SETA Politics Department researcher Ali Aslan, academic and writer Osman Can and academic from Istanbul University Haluk Alkan. The panel was moderated by SETA Politics Department Director Nebi Miş. Stressing the importance of discussing political systems instead of government systems in Turkey, Alkan said: "In a presidential system, authority takes legitimacy directly from the people and these ex officio areas are in a structure in which they balance each other. It also has a vision for protecting individual rights and accepting the majority." He also underlined that the fear of authoritarianism is, in fact, valid for every type of political system.
Claiming that the parliamentary system in Turkey only responds to elites and a privileged group of people, but not to the necessities of the entire society, Can said: "The new system must be effective in implementing policies and must seek demands and differences. A presidential system, though, allows minorities to be in power and to be represented," and added: "In this system, the judiciary becomes an arbitrator in which all societal differences are reflected."
Pointing out that debate on a presidential system is not new having been debated since the 1970s, Aslan said that the Turkish parliamentary system has a two-faced aspect and a lack of democratic institutionalization. "The system that is being planned for Turkey must combine universal merits and local values. The balance between those values must be sought especially in the appointment of members of the judiciary, local administrations and the authorization of abrogation," Aslan said.