Erdogan says Hitler’s Germany an example of presidential system with unitary state


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is a strong advocate of a switch to a presidential system, has said the implementation of a presidential system while remaining a unitary state is possible, showing Hitler's Germany as an example.


Speaking at a press conference late on Thursday shortly after his return from a trip to Saudi Arabia, which was cut short due to death of pro-government journalist Hasan Karakaya, Erdoğan was asked whether a presidential system could be adopted while keeping the country's unitary structure.


“There is no such thing as 'no presidential system in unitary states.' There are examples of this around the world. There are examples in the past, too. When you look at Hitler's Germany, you can see it there. You can see examples in other countries as well," Erdoğan said. "What is important is that a presidential system should not disturb the people in its implementation. If you provide justice, there will be no problem because what people want and expect is justice."


Erdoğan is the staunchest supporter of the formation of a “Turkish-style” presidential system, which he claims will help the country's development by eliminating "double-headedness" in state governance and thus pave the way for a more effective decision-making system.


Back in April, Erdoğan argued that Turkey's government has already been changed into a de facto presidential system, calling for a constitutional framework to "finalize" this transition.


Critics say more executive powers in the hands of Erdoğan will likely intensify Turkey's drift toward one-man rule.


Turkey has enjoyed nearly 140 years of constitutional rule, since the inception of the Ottoman Constitution of 1876, known in Turkish as the Kanûn-u Esâsî, and the parliamentary system, which has been the defining characteristic of all Turkish constitutions to follow.


Even in the more than 60 years of multi-party politics Turkey has experienced, witnessing four military coups and even the execution of a prime minister, it has never taken a step to change its system of governance to a presidential one.


Erdoğan has emphasized the superiority of the presidential system many times in the past and has said he wants to change the current parliamentary system of government to a strong presidential system.


Claiming that most developed countries are governed by a presidential system -- though this is not actually the case -- he said in January: “It shows this [system] produces [better] results. Given this, why should we put shackles on our feet [by sticking with a parliamentary system]?”