Claim: Erdogan cites Hitler’s Germany as example of effective government

Time to read
2 minutes
Read so far

Claim: Erdogan cites Hitler’s Germany as example of effective government

2016-01-02 06:41 GMT
Posted in:

A number of important media outlets claim that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives Hitler's Germany as an axample of "effective" presidential system

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish news website T24 claimed on December 31 that Turkish President Erdogan gave Hitler's Germany as an example of a presidential system1. Reuters took it from T24, and a number of important news outlets shared the same story the next day.

The Guardian2 and the Independent3, for example, claimed on January 1 that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cited Adolf Hitler’s Germany as an example of effective government.

The Telegraph4, on the other hand, claimed that “all the President wants is same powers as Hitler” and, that stated, that Mr Erdogan uses Hitler’s Germany as a positive role model for his constitutional reforms.

Mr Erdogan's entire answer, however, shows that his words were taken out of context and clearly distorted by these media outlets.

In a press conference on his return from an official visit to Saudi Arabia, Mr Erdogan was asked whether he thought a presidential system would be possible while maintaining the unitary structure of the state.

He replied: "Yes. There is nothing saying that you can't have a presidential system in a unitary state. There are already some examples in the world today, and also some from the past. You see it when you look at Hitler's Germany. Later you see the example again in various other countries. What is important is that a presidential system should not disturb the people in its implementation. If you provide justice, there will be no problem because what people want and expect is justice. We cannot at the moment say that presidential systems are entirely free from problems. There are places governed by a presidential system and still goes through problems, but in comparison we see that presidential systems are relatively better than parlementarian systems.”

Mr Erdogan gave Hitler's Germany as an example of a presidential system in a unitary structure, and he presented US and other developed countries as examples of a presidential system. Besides, the word "effective" was never used by the President.

"We are seeking ways of improvement. When we look at the developed countries today, the majority of them are governed by this [presidential] system or they have semi-presidential systems or party-based presidential systems. Today, the system in the US is a party-based presidential system. So the president still maintains his relations with his party. You see this. Our government system is not like that. If you look at a semi-presidential system; the president is again from a political party. The president is still with his party, and they lead the process together. Such systems have multiple examples."

What Mr. Erdogan said was that no matter whether it is a parliamentary system or a presidential system, bad rules that end in disasters can emerge in either if the system is misused, as it was by Hitler's Germany.

As is seen, only one sentence was taken from Mr. Erdogan’s answer as to whether a presidential system would be possible in a unitary state, and his statement was distorted.