As Turkey debates a new presidential system to boost the powers of a largely ceremonial post and cut the red tape, a newly founded non-governmental organization (NGO) launched a campaign to promote the benefits of the presidential system.
Movement to promote the Presidential System Association (Başkan-Der) will help explain to the public what the new presidential system might include and how it would affect the daily lives of the people, according to Chairwoman Gözde Dinçer.
Speaking at a press conference in the capital city of Ankara, Dinçer said they would use advertising, documentaries and leaflets to inform people about the new system while holding seminars as well for discussions: "A new presidential system will help our country to take steps forward while providing socio-economic benefits. It is a matter of improved existence for our nation," she said.
Switching from a parliamentary system to a presidential one has been a hot topic in Turkish politics since former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became the country's first president elected by public vote in August 2014. The government seeks to find common ground with the opposition to reach an agreement on the presidential system, which will be modeled after the U.S. presidential system and that of other countries, while proponents say it will also differ from those systems by keeping the unicameral Grand National Assembly.
Dinçer said they have prepared a string of projects that will promote the presidency and promote the potential for voter support in the event of a future referendum for the adoption of the presidential system. The chairwoman went on to say that they have set up a website for polls and surveys as well as a live Q&A for the public. Başkan-Der will also organize a contest to find slogans in support of the presidency and will hold workshops with the participation of academics who will discuss the system with people across the country. A two-part documentary and three TV advertisements have also been prepared. "We set up a call center with staff members who will gladly take your name and number and return your calls, addressing any questions you may have about the system," the chairwoman said.