Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday constitutional change in Turkey is a “must”.
Yildirim spoke in the Turkish capital Ankara at a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party meeting for provincial leaders. The premier told AK Party delegates the need for a new constitution in Turkey had become “urgent”.
Constitutional change, in particular the call for a presidential system, has been on the political agenda since Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the former prime minister and AK Party leader, was elected as Turkey’s president in August 2014.
That election was the first time a Turkish president, whose role is currently defined as being largely symbolic, was directly chosen by popular vote.
Yildirim said: “As the AK Party, we have been saying this from the beginning: we should turn this de facto situation in Turkey into law.
“The decision will be made by parliament or by the people. We will soon bring a new constitution to our parliament.”
Changing to a presidential system is opposed by Turkey’s three other parliamentary parties and the AK Party does not have enough lawmakers to pass the proposals without submitting them to a referendum.
Yildirim also spoke on terrorism and said illegal groups plus their supporters would be “ousted from this land”.
“I will question anyone’s mind who has any doubt about this,” Yildirim said and added: “Citizens in eastern and southeastern provinces stand against terrorism with hatred every day.”
“This stance of unity and solidarity disturbed traitors who feed on chaos and disorder,” said Yildirim. “The people of Turkey, the Turkish nation, are bigger than all of those groups.”
During his speech, the prime minister said the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) “is falling for” the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO)’s claims of being unjustly treated.
“There are still small groups in Turkey who do not want to see or understand what FETO did,” said Yildirim. “That the CHP is falling for FETO’s games is upsetting to say the least.”