Underscoring that European countries disregarded the European Union’s values, President Erdoğan said: “We can continue our economic relations but may need to review all political and administrative ties. We cannot accept an understanding which did not allow our foreign minister into their country and also that no EU members issued a message regarding Turkey and our foreign minister,” in an interview on CNN Turk.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended a joint broadcast on CNN Turk and Kanal D and answered the questions of Doğan TV Ankara representative Hakan Çelik.
“MOMENTOUS STEP REGARDING OUR COUNTRY’S DESTINY”
Describing the constitutional change as a “momentous step regarding our country’s destiny”, President Erdoğan said: “Our people will make the final decision.”
Stating that the number of MPs will be increased from 550 to 600, President Erdoğan said that there currently is an MP per 143 thousand citizens and noted that the aim of this change was to achieve fair representation.
Regarding the criticism of the amendment which lowers the required age to be elected from 25 to 18, President Erdoğan said: “I believe we should have a very dynamic parliament. When we open such a dynamic parliament, it will widen the horizon of our youth. Our youth will say ‘I can play a role in this country’s destiny’.”
“WE SHOULD NOT LOSE STABILITY AND CONFIDENCE”
“Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held every 5 years on the same day. We will switch to a synchronized system which will bring about stability and confidence we need. Our magic words in the last 14 years –despite some shortcomings- were stability and confidence. I say ‘we should not lose stability and confidence’,” President Erdoğan said.
Stating that the term of office of the President is five years and a person can be elected President for a maximum of two terms, President Erdoğan said that persons who receive support of at least 100,000 voters will be eligible to run for the presidency.
“EU HAS BEEN STALLING TURKEY SINCE 1963”
Recalling Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn’s remarks, Mr. Çelik asked: “He made a statement that Turkey turned its back on the EU. There is such a perception in some European countries. They are voicing criticism of ‘one man’ that concentrating the power in one center is against democracy. How do you comment?” The President answered: “European commissioners or no one for that matter have the right to determine the democratic powers of the Turkish people. Our people will determine their democratic rights with their own strong mindset.”
“Turkey is currently at the negotiation table with the EU. However, there is a structure which has been stalling us since 1963,” the President said.
“They disregarded the EU’s acquis and values and they get disturbed when we say that,” President Erdoğan said, and added: “German President Steinmeier made a statement targeting me although we are good friends. He mentioned my name. I deplore him for his statement. I wish he had not made such a statement. If I talk about fascist pressures in Germany, I do that in line with its definition. If I say that by using the Nazi comparison, I do that in line with its definition. The same goes for the Netherlands, too. The chancellor defended the Netherlands. You claim to defend women’s rights. You confined our female minister to inside of her car. You did not let her enter into our own lands, our consulate. You unleashed your horses, dogs, onto Dutch/Turkish citizens who were merely exercising their democratic, social rights and freedoms. You let your dogs bite Huseyin. Doctors say ‘You cannot work for 3 months’. Where is international law? Then it makes you uncomfortable when we say this is fascism, Nazism. It fits the definition.”
Praising Britain’s stance on EU membership, President Erdoğan said: “They have taken a stand regarding the currency since the very beginning, now they have opted out. We can continue our economic relations but may need to review all political and administrative ties. We cannot accept an understanding which did not allow our foreign minister into their country and also that no EU members issued a message regarding Turkey and our foreign minister. President Donald Tusk even makes statement against us although he is a good friend of mine. Won’t we take a stance against them if they do such a thing? The person who is responsible for enlargement – I will not even give his name– calls us insolent. He should look in the mirror.”
“You have the freedom to call Erdoğan a dictator but Erdoğan does not have the freedom to call you a fascist or a Nazi. No offense, but I will continue to address them with these notions as long as they continue to call Erdoğan a dictator,” President Erdoğan said.
RELATIONS WITH THE US
“Our Foreign Minister paid a visit to the US and met with the Attorney General of the US. I hope we will conclude the referendum here on April 16 and then they will give us the planned appointment,” President Erdoğan said. “What we infer from the messages we receive is that our face to face meeting in May will be of importance. There are important decisions we need to make not only about the FETO but also about regional problems. The issues of Manbij and Raqqa in Syria have been of importance lately. And also the issue of Mosul is important,” the President added.
“RUSSIA AND US’s INTEREST IN YPG TERRORIST ORGANIZATION SADDENS US”
Regarding Syria, President Erdoğan said: “Russia and US’s interest in the YPG terrorist organization saddens us. Their interest in the PYD and the PKK saddens us. I say this openly since I already told them so.” Çelik asked whether he said it to President Putin and President Erdoğan said “Yes”. “Turkey's mission in Syria will not be over until these lands have been cleared of these groups. They say the regime invited them. You do not accept every invitation. There is no such thing in world politics. Who is disturbed by this the most? We are, because we share a 911-kilometer long border with Syria. Nobody can say that Turkey should withdraw. They say ‘The regime invited us and we came’. No offense; you do not go everywhere just because the regime extends an invitation. This issue bothers Turkey. You should discuss it with Turkey.”