Turkey’s new government under Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has set the adoption of the presidential system in line with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s desires as one its top priorities, together with the approval of a new constitution and improvements on democratization.
“The new constitution should also include a search for the most effective and healthiest administrative system in order to allow Turkey to reach its targets for 2023 and beyond on democratization and development,” Davutoğlu said in an address to parliament late on Nov. 25 as he outlined his new government’s program.
It is of critical importance to adopt a pluralistic and participatory administrative model that functions efficiently with the new constitution, Davutoğlu said, adding that he would also effect stability while preventing the imposition of political tutelage on the government.
Recalling that the current parliamentary system falls short of meeting necessary democratic norms because of the coups d’état in 1960, 1980 and 1997 that weakened the role of democratically elected governments, Davutoğlu said, “We, as the AK Party [Justice and Development Party], are of the opinion that there is no difference between the parliamentary and presidential systems in regards to its suitability to democracy if the latter is built with a democratic perspective.”
Because of political instabilities due to an “undemocratic parliamentary system” and the need for a more dynamic and effective government model in line with vision of a “New Turkey,” Davutoğlu said, “That’s why we believe the presidential system is a more suitable administrative model.”
Erdoğan, who was elected as the first president through a direct vote, is an advocate of presidential system and has frequently pressed the government to prioritize the change in the system.
The new constitution will have a pro-freedom, human-focused nature, based on the principle of the separation of powers and checks-and-balance mechanisms, he said. “We believe a presidential system with these aspects will be more suitable to Turkey’s political experience and future vision.”