Presidential system is a threat to Turkey
The Jakarta Post
This weekend, Turkey will be going to the polls for the general elections. Actually this election not only concerns Turkey, but also the Middle East, which has turned into a bedlam, and Western countries.
With the involvement of international powers, an intense war is going on in Iraq and Syria, Turkey's southern border neighbors. Turkey is hosting about 2.5 million refugees fleeing the war in Syria. Constant conflicts are taking place near the Turkish border regions. Regional energy transmission lines and trade routes have all become unusable.
In the wake of the disintegration of Iraq and Syria, it is being discussed that many new states will be founded in the region. In this respect very dark scenarios have proposed that these newly drawn borders will also involve Turkish lands as well.
Communist, separatist terror organization the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), which has been active in Turkey for almost 40 years, has presence in Iran, Iraq and Syria as well. The PKK's dreams about establishing an independent, Stalinist Kurdistan by taking lands from Turkey are being brought to the agenda once again in the tumultuous Middle East geography and they receive the support of many deep state organizations.
Consequently the picture resulting from this election will not only affect Turkish politics but will also be reflected in the Middle East politics.
Another factor that renders this election important for Turkey is the fact that a change in the government system is being considered after the elections. The request to switch to a presidential system instead of the parliamentary model that is in force since the foundation of the Republic of Turkey is frequently being voiced by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It has not yet gained a clear, solid footing in the statements of the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party, a party that he helped establish from the very foundation. The AK Party has declared this new model during the elections with very weak support internally and with virtually no reference to switch to the presidential system especially in the meetings held by the governing AK Party. The main reason for that is the apprehension amongst the general public.
The AK party is concerned that the switch to a presidential system might reflect negatively at the polls. The fact is that the surveys conducted reveal that 70 percent of Turks are against the presidential system and this unavoidably caused the governing party to hesitate advocating this new model.
The presidential system will bring about a federalist system, and this is the main reason as to why the system does not gain acceptance in Turkey.
It is true that federation is an administration style used by many countries but for Turkey, it is a major risk. That is because Turkey has been struggling for decades against the communist organization PKK, which is in pursuit to try and establish a communist state by separating the Southeastern region.
During this struggle, more than 40,000 Turkish citizens, including security forces who strive against giving autonomy to the separatists, have been martyred.
The PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan also wants to bring a federalist presidential system based on the US model. He openly states that he will support a federative presidential system.
By taking advantage of the presidential system, PKK, through its tradition of intimidation and pressure, will be able to ensure that PKK sympathizer governors are elected, and a so-called PKK constitution becomes prevalent in the region. It then becomes obvious that it will give way to the separatist terror organization gaining sovereignty.
We witness that autonomous/federative regions in the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus and the result is that they constantly separate from their states. The federal system introduced by the presidential system will impair the unitary structure in Turkey and give rise to different federal regions' demands for independence.
In Turkey when the unitary system collapses, it will be easy for federations to conduct a referendum to be divided with the new rights they will obtain through national legislation.
The Turkish people are united and will never renounce the struggle for the 'One Nation' ideal after all these decades. No one is willing to give away one shred of Turkish land marked by the blood of martyrs to the separatist terrorist organization. Thus it is not possible for a federalist system to be accepted or implemented in Turkey.
Turkish nation has a very important goal and ideal of protecting all the oppressed all over the world, particularly its own neighbors. Another of its ideal is to gather the Islamic countries in a unity reminiscent of the EU model to institute democracy, tranquility and peace.
It is evident that there is the need for a strong Turkey to realize these goals.
Above all else, Turkey should protect its unitary structure, strengthen its own brotherly bonds and unity and should not be separated.
A communist state that is planned to be established in the key geography of the Middle East would spread terror not only in Turkey but in the whole region and later, to the whole world. The imperialist powers that insensibly support the PKK will eventually become helpless in the face of this grave trouble.
To avoid this nightmare, the gravity of the threat should be recognized, the cost of disintegrating Turkey should be envisaged and all that might give way to that disaster should be strictly avoided.
The federal system introduced by the presidential system will impair the unitary structure in Turkey.
The writer has authored many books on religion, politics and science.
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