PM Yıldırım says introduction of presidential system own project

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Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said he is the architect of a project that seeks to introduce a presidential system in Turkey, contrary to the widespread belief that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was behind it.

Speaking during a program on Fox TV on Wednesday, Yıldırım said: “I have good relations with our president, but if two figures with strong egos come to power [as prime minister and president] tomorrow, this ‘two-headedness’ will create a problem. The country will be unmanageable. The entire country will be unable to progress due to it. Now, we are eliminating two-headedness. The introduction of a presidential system is my project. I worked on it quietly and thoroughly. Then we struck up a dialogue with the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party]. I want to achieve this.”

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), backed by the MHP, is pushing through legislation that President Erdoğan says will bring the strong leadership needed to prevent a return of the fragile coalition governments of the past.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) fear the reforms will fuel authoritarianism.

According to Yıldırım, concerns about the presidential system creating one-man rule in Turkey are groundless.

“Nobody has any problem with the regime. In the new system, our party may win for two terms at most. Then, the CHP may win. They should work accordingly and find candidates [for the presidency],” he said.

The prime minister also noted that ministers from the ranks of the MHP or close to the MHP could be appointed once the executive presidency goes into effect.

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