Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office on Friday hit back at media reports that quoted the president as giving Nazi Germany as an example of a presidential system.
In a statement, the president’s office said: “That type of comparison is out of the question. The attempt to represent remarks by Mister President, who has declared the Holocaust and anti-Semitism as a crime against humanity alongside Islamophobia, as a positive reference to Hitler’s Germany is unacceptable.”
Erdogan is a proponent of changing Turkey’s parliamentary system for a presidential model.
His remarks about Nazi Germany were made during a news conference as he arrived back in Istanbul late Thursday from an official trip to Saudi Arabia, when he outlined how a presidential system could work in a unitary rather than federal state.
Clarifying his comments, the statement said: “A presidential system can be implemented in unitary states as well. The presidential system of governance does not have to rely on federalism.
“What matters first and foremost in both parliamentary and presidential systems is to enforce principles of justice and meet the expectations of the public.
“If the system is abused, be it a parliamentary or presidential system, disastrous administrations could result, as in the example of Nazi Germany. Neither the parliamentary system, nor the presidential system, can single-handedly prevent such consequences. What is truly important is adopting an equitable system of governance that serves the nation.”
The statement added that representing Erdogan’s comments as holding Nazi Germany as an example of the effectiveness of a presidential system breached journalistic principles of objectivity and honesty.