Turkey may split up without presidential system: PM

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Sunday declared if Turkey did not change its system of governance to a presidential one it may split up.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Sunday declared if Turkey did not change its system of governance to a presidential one it may split up.

“They claim if we bring a presidential system, Turkey will split up. Quite the contrary if we do not do so, Turkey will face a risk of splitting up,” said Yildirim, criticizing the opposition which was wary of Kurdish separatism.

Turkey, since its foundation in 1923, is a parliamentary republic where the post of the president is constitutionally a largely ceremonial one with limited powers of veto on bills passed by the National Assembly.

Yildirim, who was addressing a local Istanbul council of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said Turkey would remain a unitary state.

He also vowed there would be no place for federal provinces, a suggestion readily associated with the Kurdish self-rule in Turkey.

In recent weeks, the AKP has geared up to empower its former leader President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidency, despite objections by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

The head of the secularist CHP Kemal Kilicdaroglu labeled Erdogan’s pursuit of empowerment “dictatorial tendencies.”

Moreover, in May, the CHP leader challenged the AKP that an executive presidential way of governance was impossible “without bloodshed.”

Two weeks ago, Kilicdaroglu said Erdogan’s presidential ambitions were an “insult” to the legacy of the more than 240 people killed by rebel soldiers during the night of the July 15 coup attempt.

Erdogan was elected Head of the Republic with 51 percent of votes in an August 2014 election, directly by people rather than the members of the Parliament as used to be the case.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has consistently opposed any proposals to grant more powers to Erdogan.

“We will not allow you to become president,” was the main HDP motto during the previous two elections of June and November 2015.

As a result, a conflict between the Turkish Army and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) restarted after a two-years-held ceasefire and peace talks.

HDP’s Co-chair Selahattin Demirtas said on Monday in Diyarbakir that PM Yildirim’s remarks on the presidency were directed against the Kurds.

Demirtas’ party’s supporters have been staging protests for a week in defiance of a government after the arrest of the city’s Co-mayors Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli.

“If you pay attention, by saying ‘the country’ will split up, the government is trying to amass everyone against the HDP,” Demirtas said.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany