According to Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy for Gaziantep Umit Ozdag, has said that the constitutional amendment foreseeing a ‘politically affiliated presidency’ will consolidate power in the hands of one person.
“The state of the Republic of Turkey as we know it is changing and practically ending, and an ‘Erdogan Republic’ is being established” Ozdag claimed.
The MHP deputy alleged that the presidential system would bring about a federal system to Turkey. Referring to the Turkish state’s dialogue with imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader, Abdullah Ocalan, during the popularly termed ‘solution process’, Ozdag said, “The same people that were drafting a joint constitution with Ocalan only a few years ago are now proposing a presidential system in Turkey. What is being called a presidential system is actually being readied to prepare Turkey for a federal system”.
On the pending referendum, which is expected to take place in early April, Ozdag said, “There can be no citizen of the Republic of Turkey or a Turkish nationalist that can say ‘yes’ to such a constitution. This would mean that that person has cut off all their ties with Turkish nationalism”.
Ozdag’s statements are particularly striking as it was his party, the MHP, who supported and provided the ruling AKP with the necessary votes in the parliamentary sessions in which the articles of the proposed constitution were adopted.
Ozdag became a controversial figure inside his own party when he announced that he would run against the current party leader, Devlet Bahceli, in the party’s congress which was due to be held last year, but cancelled.