PM Yıldırım says gov’t to introduce executive presidency in cooperation with MHP

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One day after a meeting with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced that his government is going to introduce a presidential system in Turkey together with the MHP.

“God willing, we will make a Constitution with the MHP. We will introduce a presidential system. We will bring it to Parliament. It is not sufficient just to bring it to Parliament. We will also bring it to its owner. Who is its owner? You. If something is referred to the nation, it means it is done,” said Yıldırım as he spoke to party supporters in a speech in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on Friday.

On Thursday, Yıldırım received Bahçeli at Çankaya Palace. Media reports said they talked about government plans to introduce an executive presidency.

Last month, Bahçeli sparked a fresh debate over the introduction of an executive presidency when he said there was a de facto situation in Turkey’s style of governance and that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was already acting like an executive president even though his post is largely ceremonial. Bahçeli said the situation needed to be resolved.

Bahçeli’s remarks were interpreted as supporting a switch to an executive presidency.

The post of the president is largely ceremonial in Turkey; however, President Erdoğan has been acting as an executive president since his election to the top state post in August 2014. Erdoğan is a strong supporter of a switch to the presidential system. Yet, critics say Erdoğan wants a “Turkish style” executive presidency without checks and balances, one that is aimed at creating one-man rule.

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