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President Gul will not swap posts with Erdogan

18 April 2014

Turkish President Gul has indicated that he does not want to swap posts with Prime Minister Erdogan when the Gul’s presidential term ends later this year.

Gul said today he does not favour a model similar to that of Russia where the president and prime minister have traded places and one has ruled in the other’s shadow.

When asked about the presidential election, Gul told reporters, “I don’t have any political plan for the future under today’s circumstances.

Stressing he “can’t talk openly about certain subjects as he is currently the president,” Gul said: “I said we would speak and discuss [the presidential elections] with our friends and we will make a decision. Turkey is a mature country. The future of Turkey will always be bright.”

Prime Minister Erdogan has said that he has not decided yet whether or not to run for president and that he was consulting with others first.

In Turkey, the president is head of state, but it remains largely a symbolic position. It includes the power to send legislation back to parliament, to appoint judges to the constitutional court and install university presidents. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and can call meetings of parliament.

In May 2012, Erdogan opened a debate on changing the current parliamentary system, in which most of the governing power rests with the prime minister, toward a presidential system with a more powerful executive, along the lines of the United States or France.

He recently said that if he should become president, he would maximise the use of presidential powers.

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