Erdogan emerges stronger

PRESIDENT Recep Tayyip Erdogan has finally won the hotly contested Turkish Referendum on constitutional amendments to shift the country’s governance system to an executive presidency. The approval of amendment package — backed by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and opposed by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest party in Parliament — means an administrative shift will take place in 2019 if no early elections are held.
Analysts point out that the President has won a historic victory that will not only transform the country he has led since 2013, but will also create a path for him to remain in office until 2029. The victory means much in the backdrop of propaganda campaign unleashed by some vested interests at home and abroad that approval of constitutional package could lead the country towards autocracy. Such apprehensions seem to be unfounded as both the US and France were doing well with similar systems and there were no reasons why Turkey would not retain its democratic character. The constitutional package was criticised mainly because of the provisions that envisage executive powers for the presidency, President’s authority to pick cabinet ministers even from outside Parliament and that he might have association with a political party. If American President can have all these powers and role and can be a democrat then why to expect that the Turkish President would be an autocrat. It is also regrettable that a global television network has remarked that ‘today democracy has died’ in Turkey, which is nothing but an affront to the wisdom and sagacity of people of Turkey who have made a sovereign decision to reform their country as per their own vision and aspirations. The complete faith of Turkish people in President Erdogan is not without reason as he led his country to stability and prosperity over the last fifteen years. He is a charismatic and populist leader who served his country in many ways and earned so much trust and confidence of his people that they came out instantly at his call to defend democracy when some sections of Turkish Army tried to stage a coup in July last year. While congratulating President Erdogan, we hope that Turkey would scale new heights under his leadership in the years to come and friendship with Pakistan would further strengthen to mutual benefit.

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