ANKARA (AA) - Turkey’s president has already assumed de facto “political responsibility” following his direct election in 2014, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Friday.
He was speaking following criticism of his earlier remarks and allegations that he was ignorant of Turkey’s constitution.
“I have noticed that something I said yesterday at the meeting with party provincial heads was distorted by some media and I would like to clarify one point,” he told reporters at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport before departing for Azerbaijan.
“When I said ‘No matter what the constitution says, a de facto political responsibility arose for the president’ what I meant was this: even if the constitution says the president is not responsible, after being elected directly by the public following a constitutional change, a political responsibility arose naturally, because the public holds the person it voted for accountable.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the first directly elected president in August 2014.
The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has been pushing for a new constitution that would change Turkey’s parliamentary system for a presidential model.
“We have already started working [on a draft constitution],” Yildirim said. “We will let the public know when our work is done and then the necessary steps will be taken by our party group.”
A presidential system is opposed by the three opposition parties and the AK Party does not have enough votes in parliament to either force through constitutional change or stage a referendum on the issue.