When choosing a system of government to compare yourself to, Nazi Germany should probably be right at the bottom.
Turkey’s President didn’t seem to think so, though, as he reportedly advocated ‘Hitler’s Germany’ as a good historic example of a strong presidential system of government.
According to The Independent, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made the comment while defending his efforts to increase the stature and power of his own job.
During a press conference Mr Erdoğan was asked if he thought it was possible to introduce a presidential system of government while still keeping the unitary structure of the state, like the country currently has.
The T24 news portal reported him as replying:
Yes. There is nothing to say 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 counties.
Whoops. A senior Turkish official did try and spin the comment in a positive light, by claiming he had meant to say Hitler’s Germany was an example of how not to operate a system like that.
The official told The Independent:
There are good and poor examples of presidential systems and the important thing is to put checks and balances in place. Nazi Germany, lacking proper institutional arrangements, was obviously one of the most disgraceful examples in history. That’s his point.
Yeah mate, that’s why Nazi Germany is a disgraceful example from history, because it ‘lacked proper institutional arrangements’…