October 12, 2015

Veteran journalist Koru: I was grossly mistaken about President Erdoğan

Veteran journalist and Habertürk columnist Fehmi Koru said during an interview he was mistaken about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since Erdoğan has demonstrated during the course of his presidency that he doesn't believe the Constitution places any limits on his powers.

During an interview with Nokta magazine that was published on Monday, Koru underlined that Erdoğan's one-year tenure as president has clearly shown he believes a president elected by the people should behave differently from previous presidents. “Like me, many others were also mistaken about him. He doesn't consider the Constitution as it limits his powers. So, I was mistaken about him,” he said.

Erdoğan had said during the rallies before the presidential election in August 2014 that he would not act similarly to his predecessors because he would be elected by the people and would use all the powers afforded to him by the Constitution.

During a rally in the Black Sea town of Çayeli this August, Erdoğan said: "I am saying this clearly and precisely: They [critics] may be engaged in speculation about me. They should know I am not a president who was appointed to this post. I came here through the votes of my nation. And I will use the authorities granted to me by the nation to the end. I also know my limits very well."

Erdoğan supports the formation of a “Turkish-style” presidential system -- a strong unicameral rather than bicameral system that he claims will help the country' advancement by eliminating "multi-headedness" in state governance and thus pave the way for a more effective decision-making system. Although his ambitions were disrupted after the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lost its majority in Parliament in the June general election, Erdoğan said in a speech in August that the government has already been changed into a de facto presidential system, calling for a constitutional framework to "finalize" this transition.

Underlining that discussions on a presidential system in Turkey are waste of time, Koru reiterated the fact that the AK Party lost the support of its voters and 13 years of single-party rule in the June general election, where it vowed to change the Constitution in order to switch the parliamentary system to a presidential one.

‘Gülen must be awarded Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to education'

During the interview, Koru also said Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen -- whose work inspired the Gülen movement, popularly known as the Hizmet movement -- must be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in another year for his contribution to world peace through educational activities in Turkey and around the world.

“I feel proud when I see the educational activities of the Gülen movement and feel Gülen must be awarded a Nobel peace prize, similar to Mother Teresa who was awarded for her services in India,” he said.

Published on Today's Zaman, 12 October 2015, Monday