Presidential system will bring Turkey to ruination: CHP leader

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Imposing a presidential system on Turkey will cause a disaster in the country, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.

“We are against the presidential system categorically. I have said that without knowing about the presidential system which AKP [the ruling Justice and Development Party] has proposed; commenting about it would not be right. We don’t know the details,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with the Voice of Russia on Nov. 14.

“Many subjects and rules starting from the Presidential Oath will be changed. We should see the text, we should look at what they cover in the text, and then we will express our thoughts about it,” he said.

The CHP leader was also asked about his opinion about Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli’s stance on the constitutional draft, as the MHP leader gathered with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Nov. 10 to discuss the draft, subsequently giving positive messages.

“We know that the MHP leader, Mr. Devlet, is close to power rather than the opposition, and they have also stated that. Previously, Mr. Devlet expressed absolute criticisms toward the presidential system. I believe that those harsh comments are still valid today because the presidential system is a system that will drag Turkey to serious disaster,” he said.

Kılıçdaroğlu also said there was no risk of another coup attempt after the thwarted July 15 coup bid, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

“I don’t think that there’s such a risk,” he said.

“Some people could say that there’s a risk in order to continue their oppressive measures. What would a coup be staged for? I don’t believe in such a risk,” he said.

Arguing the AKP knew about the coup attempt, Kılıçdaroğlu said, “They will learn the truth regarding the issue in time.”

“A lot of broadcasts have been made on this issue and books have been published. Information that the military authority conveyed [plans for] the coup attempt have also surfaced. We can’t say that it’s a hundred percent true, but there is information arousing suspicions. It’s certain that the government knew about the coup attempt. If an officer went to MİT [National Intelligence Agency] and let them know about it, then they [the government] knew about it too. We will find out the truth about this in time,” he said.

During his speech, Kılıçdaroğlu also commented on the extradition demand for U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, saying it would be rejected if capital punishment is reintroduced.

“They are closing the door to Gülen’s extradition by bringing the death penalty to the agenda. That’s the wrong path,” he said.

Meanwhile, the CHP spokesperson criticized the actions of the government, saying Turkey was being ruled by fascism.

“We are living with fascism in Turkey. We are offering the protection of democracy as a solution,” Böke told daily Cumhuriyet on Nov. 14, adding that the culture of living together should be enhanced.

“There is an effort to bring Turkey to societal disintegration. That means the fascist order has to create new tensions in order to reproduce itself, with war outside and violence inside,” she said.

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