By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey faces a crisis of leadership due to its presidential system, an opposition leader said on Tuesday.
"Turkey faces illegality, injustice. Turkey faces disrespect to the national will. What happened on Saturday morning shows that our 5,000-year-old state tradition is under threat due to this freak [presidential] system," Meral Aksener told her Good (IYI) Party's parliamentary group, referring to presidential decrees issued last weekend.
The Turkish public opted to shift to a presidential system in an April 2017 referendum.
In June 2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected president, Turkey’s first president under the new system.
Turkish officials have touted the benefits of the new system, saying it eliminates inefficiencies and enables the smoother working of the administration.
Aksener said the government can abolish an international treaty "just because they want to," referring to the 2011 Istanbul Convention, which Turkey withdrew from last weekend.
Claiming that Erdogan ignored the national will by quitting the pact, Aksener added: "They can dismiss the head of the Central Bank, whose reputation comes from its independence, in the middle of the night just because they want to."
Early Saturday, by presidential decree, Turkish Central Bank Governor Naci Agbal was also dismissed and replaced by former MP Sahap Kavcioglu.
- Istanbul Convention
Turkey was the first country to ratify the European convention, adopted in Istanbul in 2011.
The convention seeks to prevent violence against women, including domestic violence, and bring an end to legal impunity for perpetrators.
While the convention was enforced in 34 countries, including Turkey, some countries – Ukraine, the UK, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Moldova, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Hungary, Armenia, and Bulgaria – signed the document but have yet to ratify it.
Some items of the convention caused debate over gender equality in Turkey, with critics saying they damage traditional family values.
Turkish officials say national legislation is enough to defend women from violence without need for the convention.