Due to the coalition crisis in the 1970's, an exit route for the nation's political system was sought-after. The Justice Party, or Adalet Party, brought a formula to the table that would have opened the door to a transition to either a presidential or semi-presidential system. The Justice Party proceeded to present a proposal to parliament which purported the public selecting the president through an election. The proposal, which was put forth a short time prior to the 1980 coup, was not passed by the Assembly at the time. In 1982, during the drafting of the constitution, Kenan Evren also wanted to leave the presidential vote up to the public; however he was unsuccessful in doing so.
DEMİREL WAS ALSO IN FAVOR
The debate surrounding a transition to the presidential system also surfaced from time to time during the Motherland Party, or ANAP's, era in power.
Leader of the Motherland Party, Turgut Özal brought up the debate of switching to a presidential system after he had been appointed as president himself. About one year prior to his death, the presidential system was seriously laid to the table. According to Özal, the presidential system was the way to go in order to increase Turkey's global presence and instill political stability. At the time, Özal stated, "If we want to become one of the top ten or top five nations in this country, then we need to take an initiative. The only chance would be to transition to a presidential system."
Once Özal had made his way to the Çankaya Palace and had become distanced from his party, he also became the target of criticism for this very suggestion. One of the main figures that were against Özal at the time was Süleyman Demirel. DYP, or Right Path Party leader Süleyman Demirel, changed his perspective however, once he himself became president.
In 1997, en route to Egypt, Demirel stated that the President needed to be elected by the public. Although what Demirel had in mind was actually closer to the semi-presidential system, Demirel stated that the president needed to be selected by the public to ensure 'political stability in Turkey'. An attempt to propose a constitution amendment at the time however, was rejected by the Assembly General Council.
THE DIFFERENCE WITH ERDOĞAN
When it comes to the issue of transitioning to a presidential system, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken on a varied stance compared to prior leaders.
First of all, he opened the issue up for debate prior to being appointed as president. In fact, in 2003, soon after becoming Prime Minister, Erdoğan announced that he wanted Turkey to take on a presidential system in order to overcome the 'oligarchic bureaucracy issue'.
This announcement was debated by the public for days. Erdoğan repeatedly brought up the issue however over the past nine years and during the 2010 referendum process, even stated, "The presidential system may be brought to the agenda once again in Turkey. If there is a consensus, then it may be something to be considered by our public. I would be in favor in terms of the operating of the system."
During his speech on September 12th following the acceptance of a referendum on a series of constitutional amendments, Erdoğan made a reference to Constitutional Commission Chairman Burhan Kuzu, a defender of the presidential system, by stating, "Mr. Burhan, as of tomorrow, begin working on (the presidential system)."
Contrary to Turkey's debates in the past surrounding the presidential system, this is the first time the issue has concretely been brought to the agenda in Turkey. The Commission of Conciliation, which operates under the umbrella of the Assembly, will be laying the option to the table. After that, parties will be spending an extensive time engaged in lengthy deliberations on the issue.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.