In order to realize President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s long-standing ambition for an executive presidency, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Saturday called on the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) to support a referendum for a change in the system of governance in Turkey.
Speaking to his party organization in Afyonkarahisar province, Prime Minister Yıldırım, who is also head of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), praised the attitude of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on the referendum issue. “The MHP could be against the presidential system, but by leaving the decision to the nation in a referendum, they took an extremely nationalist stance,” Yıldırım said.
“Once again I am calling on the CHP here. Let’s ask the nation together,” Yıldırım suggested as he urged the CHP to support the decision to hold a referendum.
Since its establishment in 1923, the Republic of Turkey has been governed by a parliamentary system in which the role of the president is symbolic. However, Erdoğan has expressed since his election in August 2014 that the system has de facto changed and that the constitution should adapt to the new conditions.