Former chief justice says Turkish society not ready for presidential system

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Haşim Kılıç, a former chief justice, has said the Turkish society is not ready for a switch to presidential system from the current parliamentary system, a change long-sought by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Speaking at a conference in Ankara on Wednesday, Kılıç said:” There are countries where the presidential and parliamentary systems are implemented successfully. We are trying to establish a Turkish-style presidential system. This society is not ready for a presidential system.”

President Erdoğan, whose post is largely ceremonial law, has been seeking a transition to the presidential system, saying it will pave the way for a more effective governance without the “obstacles” raised in the current system by the judiciary and other institutions.

Erdoğan supports the formation of a “Turkish-style” presidential system — a strong unicameral rather than bicameral system that will help the country’s development by eliminating “multi-headedness” in state governance and thus pave the way for a more effective decision-making system. His suggestion raises concerns over the possible abuse of the system if it makes the switch to a more authoritarian regime.

In his speech, Kılıç also talked about declining confidence in the judiciary in Turkey, saying that although the country built modern courthouses in every province, it failed to ensure the people’s confidence in the justice system.

“The public confidence in the judiciary has fallen to the level of 67 percent. A judicial system which enables a fair trial is a must,” said Kılıç.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been receiving growing criticism for creating a partisan judiciary which according to many is far from being independent and acting orders on government.

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