Erdoğan cites Hitler’s Germany as example of effective government


Erdoğan cites Hitler’s Germany as example of effective government

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is pushing to change his ceremonial role to chief executive as in US and Russia


Turkey’s president has been pushing for some time for a new presidential system to govern the country, sparring with critics who accuse him of attempting a power grab.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s latest comments in favour of greater executive powers are unlikely to help him bring those critics round. On Friday he was quoted by Turkish media as citing a striking example of an effective presidential system – Germany under Adolf Hitler.

Asked on his return from a visit to Saudi Arabia whether an executive presidential system was possible while maintaining the unitary structure of the state, he said: “There are already examples in the world. You can see it when you look at Hitler’s Germany.

“There are later examples in various other countries,” he told reporters, according to a recording broadcast by the Dogan news agency and reported by Reuters.

A Turkish official sought to clarify Erdoğan’s remark. “There are good and poor examples of presidential systems and the important thing is to put checks and balances in place,” he said. “Nazi Germany, lacking proper institutional arrangements, was obviously one of the most disgraceful examples in history.”

The presidency said in a statement that: “Erdogan’s ‘Hitler’s Germany’ metaphor has been distorted by some news sources and has been used in the opposite sense.”

Erdoğan wants to change the constitution to turn the ceremonial role of president into that of a chief executive, a Turkish version of the system in the US, France and Russia.

The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), which he founded, has put a new constitution at the heart of its agenda after winning back a majority in parliamentary elections in November.

It reached agreement with the main opposition Republican People’s party (CHP) on Wednesday to revive efforts to forge a new constitution.

Opposition parties agree on the need to change the constitution, drawn up after a 1980 coup and still bearing the stamp of its military authors, but they do not back the presidential system Erdoğan, fearing it would consolidate too much power in the hands of an authoritarian leader.

The statement from the presidency said his comments were meant to demonstrate that an executive presidency can exist in a unitary state and does not depend on a federal system of government, and that neither a presidential nor parliamentary system is a guarantee against abuse of power.

“If the system is abused it may lead to bad management resulting in disasters as in Hitler’s Germany … The important thing is to pursue fair management that serves the nation,” the statement said, adding it was unacceptable to suggest Erdogan was casting Hitler’s Germany in a positive light.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/01/turkish-president-recep-tayyip-erdogan-hitlers-germany-example-effective-government?fbclid=IwAR0xMqzQAejEjBgrZ1q7XGyQ8t0x_Cu2j7QRw6k0yrjCrCZt-qJ5SwieDpc