Erdoğan says will of God, the nation to be realized in new system

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets people during a mass opening ceremony at Rabia Square in Sanliurfa, Turkey on January 6, 2017.

Speaking in support of a switch to an executive presidential system to be voted in a referendum on April 16, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that the will of God and the nation will be realized in the new system.

Attending a symposium on the executive presidency organized by SETA, a think tank funded by the government, Erdoğan said those who are against the proposed changes are against the nation. “Your entire problem is Tayyip Erdoğan. Tayyip Erdoğan is mortal. Is there any guarantee that I will be alive on April 16?” said Erdoğan.

“We have been engaging in a struggle for the system. The issue is the struggle for the system. What will happen after Erdoğan? What the nation says will happen, and what God says will happen.”

Erdoğan claimed that those who are against the proposed changes would like to partition Turkey. “Who says no? The PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] does, those who want to divide this country do,” Erdoğan added, stating that the main opposition was acting along with the naysayers.

According to Erdoğan, the presidential system’s most important feature is its democratic nature. “What else could you say but yes to such a system?” Erdoğan asked the audience, expressing obvious approval of a change that will vest him with expanded powers, including the right to dissolve Parliament.

Critics fear that a switch to an executive presidency will concentrate power in the hands of only one person as the president will have even more control over the judiciary.

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