Turkish President Erdogan says he’s no sultan, but more like British Queen

February 1, 2015 5:18 am

Erdogan’s comments came after fresh criticism from the opposition that
he would act like an “Ottoman ” once his presidential role has
been boosted. (File Photo: AP)

Turkish President brushed off criticism that
he’s trying to amass sultan-like powers, saying he really just wants to
be more like Britain’s .
Erdogan told state-run
TRT channel on Thursday that his desire for an expanded presidential
role would not undermine democracy — and he pointed to the UK as an
example.
“In my opinion, even the UK is a semi-presidency. And the dominant element is the ,” Erdogan said.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy, governed by a parliamentary system, but its hereditary monarch wields only symbolic power.
Erdogan’s
comments came after fresh criticism from the opposition that he would
act like an “Ottoman sultan” once his presidential role has been
boosted.
Erdogan said that leaders of presidential systems in the
U.S., Brazil, South Korea, Mexico are not accused of acting like
monarchs.
“I mean, why is it only a monarchy when an idea like this is floated in ?” Erdogan asked.
“We
need to speed up to close the gap in this race,” he said. “The biggest
advantage… would be in abolishing policy-making through multiple
channels.”
Erdogan became president in August after more than a
decade as prime minister, but the opposition accuses him of transforming
the state by imposing a gradual Islamization and riding roughshod over
democracy.
The August elections were the first time a Turkish
president, traditionally a ceremonial role, has been directly elected by
the people. In the wake of his victory, Erdogan insisted he now has a
popular mandate to be an active and powerful leader.
Turkey is
set to hold parliamentary elections in June, with the pro-Erdogan ruling
Justice and Development Party (AKP) aiming for a thumping majority to
change the constitution and boost Erdogan’s presidential powers.
“A new constitution is a must for a new Turkey,” Erdogan said.

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