By Ali Bayaslan
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey cannot allow other countries, “especially the European Union to question our democracy”, said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.
“Turkey is a country that has made its decision on the subject of democracy and the rule of law on July 15 without any doubt,” Erdogan said referring to last year’s coup attempt, which martyred 249 people.
“We cannot allow some institutions and states, especially the European Union, to question the democracy of our country through the results of April 16 referendum,” Erdogan said during an Istanbul meeting to mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of Turkey’s Constitutional Court.
More than 50 percent of Turkish citizens voted Yes to a presidential system in Turkey’s April 16 referendum, but several European institutions raised concerns arguing that such a change would weaken the independence of the judiciary, and other necessary checks and balances of a democratic system.
While a joint report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) criticized the conduct of Turkey’s April 16 referendum, Ankara slammed the report and expressed strong doubts about its impartiality.
On Tuesday, PACE decided to put Turkey on a political monitoring watchlist.
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party leaders have promoted the presidential system, stressing that it would bring a more effective administrative system, which would speed up much-needed reforms and enhance political stability.