Engin Özmen / Edirne, Aug 25 () - Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has pointed to the lack of a presidential system as the cause of chaos in the country, during a speech he delivered at the northwestern province of Edirne.
Müezzinoğlu took the stage at the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) advisory council meeting and claimed the June 7 election constituted a warning to the AKP, but not a punishment.
“The people made us [the AKP] the winning party since the day we were founded. But, for the first time, they did not allow us to form a single-party government,” he said. “The people did not say ‘we are punishing you,’ they said ‘we are warning you.’”
After providing an assessment of the June 7 election, Müezzinoğlu argued the current environment of chaos was a direct result of Turkey’s form of government.
Müezzinoğlu compared the outbreak of violence between the Turkish state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to the era preceding the Sep. 12, 1980, military junta.
“During those days, the theater staged by four political parties led to a military coup,” he said. “The aim is to bypass national will by dividing it into four, five pieces.”
The minister argued the heart of the problem was the lack of a centralist system, and blamed ambiguous forces for inhibiting a change in Turkey’s form of government.
“Chaos exists because Turkey is not governed by a presidential system. Do not think of today, do not think of [President] Tayyip Erdoğan. Focusing on individuals to explain a system is a means to deceive people” he said.
Müezzinoğlu’s comments were a reiteration of his previous statements at the AKP’s Osmangazi district advisory council meeting in Turkey’s northwestern town of Bursa.
During his speech on Aug. 10, the minister alleged if Erdoğan was elected president of a presidential system, chaos would not have ensued.
The minister’s comment drew criticism from mourners during the funeral of Sergeant Bahadır Aydın, who was killed by a PKK attack in Siirt on Aug. 20.
“If we had elected him [Erdoğan] president, it wouldn’t end up like this, right?” a mourner yelled at Müezzinoğlu’s face.
Since the end of a 2013 ceasefire broke out on July 20, 60 Turkish military personnel have been killed by the PKK.
Meanwhile, official figures claim 771 PKK militants have been killed in air raids and operations in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq over the same period.