Whole world run by ‘one-man’ regimes, says Turkish parliamentary speaker

Responding to criticism that Turkey is turning into a one-man regime, Turkish parliamentary speaker Mustafa Şentop said all systems in the world have one man making decisions, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Saturday.

Şentop said, “I ask those who object saying (Turkey is run by) ‘one man’ – how many do you think there should be?”

The final decision is made by a single person in all political parties, the speaker said. “Does the parliamentary system have more than one man?” Şentop asked.

“There is a cabinet of ministers, yes. But the issue arises when there is a conflict between the will of the absolute and the will of the trivial,” he said, using Islamic terminology that often refers to the divine will versus the will of humans.

Turkey abandoned its parliamentary system with a referendum in 2017 in favour of an executive presidential system where almost all power is concentrated in the hands of the president.

“In the parliamentary system, the president’s authority was naturally symbolic,” Şentop said. “When there are two (men), there is conflict.”

In the previous system, the prime minister’s decision was always the final tie-breaker, according to Şentop.

Meanwhile, daily Sözcü columnist Saygı Öztürk wrote on Sunday that six opposition parties had come to an agreement on a roadmap for a return to what they call a fortified parliamentary system, following a series of meetings.

The six parties are the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), centre-right Good Party (İP), the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), the Future Party (GP), the Democrat Party (DP) and the conservative-Islamist Felicity Party (SP), which was founded by followers of the same political tradition as the AKP.

The roadmap foresees transparent funding of election campaigns, an end to the current ‘mixed bag’ system of proposals for new laws, increased checks and balances on the government, and a renewed ban on the president being a member of any political party.

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