Turkey, Politics

Parliament has more influence in new system: Yildirim

Speaking exclusively to Anadolu Agency, Turkish premier says parliament will grow more important

05.07.2018
Parliament has more influence in new system: Yildirim

By Sena Guler and Kubra Chohan

ANKARA

Under Turkey’s new system, the parliament will wield more influence, said Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday.

Speaking as the special guest of Anadolu Agency's Editors’ Desk, Yildirim said: “The importance of parliament has grown under the new system.” 

He added: “Apart from the budget law, the government does not have the authority to propose legislation.”

He said that this shows the strong power and role of the parliament.

 

Economy in the new system

Yildirim said: “The elections are over, now is the time for moving on. Investors will plan their investment, vacationers will plan their vacations, and life will go on in all respects.”

“From 1924 to 2002, Turkey has grown 4.7 percent on average. Between 2003 and 2017, there’s been average of 5.7 percent growth,” he said.

Yildirim said if Turkey had grown 5.7 percent since 1925, by now it would have been the world’s seventh-largest economy with a GDP of $2.3 trillion, right after France, but actually it is now the 17th-largest economy.

He went on to say that Turkey must continue its growth around strong production, employment, and exports.

“We will use the build-operate-transfer model and external sources more often. We will spend the rest on social projects,” Yildirim said.

Yildirim said that the government will make it a top priority to bring down interest rates and inflation, and continue with structural reforms.

Balancing resources with Turkey’s commitment to monetary policy will be a main focus in the days to come, he added.

 

State of emergency to be lifted

Yildirim said: “The new Cabinet will be announced on Monday, and the state of emergency will conclude.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had spoken on the campaign trail of lifting the state of emergency, imposed in the wake of the defeated 2016 coup attempt.

He added that a decree will be issued on Friday, saying it “will include necessary measures to avoid vulnerability in the area of counter-terrorism once the state of emergency is over.”

Turkey declared a state of emergency for the first time on July 20, 2016 following the deadly coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured. 

This April, the government renewed the ongoing state of emergency for the seventh time.

Since the coup attempt, Turkey has sought Gulen's extradition from the U.S., and complained that the U.S. is not moving fast enough.

Yildirim said that most of the world accepts that the defeated coup was carried out by FETO, but the U.S. was rather “reluctant”.

“This must be questioned. The Turkish people find it unacceptable that the activities of this terrorist organization continue here [in the U.S.] without any difficulty or restrictions after all that happened,” he said.

“Our view is that relations with U.S. will normalize and continue to be worthy of two NATO allies,” he explained.

Yildirim said all issues will be discussed at the NATO summit Erdogan will attend in Brussels next week, including FETO, and the U.S. expectations of Turkey.

 

Counter-terrorism and the US

On Turkey’s counter-terrorism efforts, Yildirim said terror needs to be eliminated where it is.

Turkey is telling the U.S. clearly that we are working together in Manbij, Syria -- an area recently cleared of terrorist YPG/PKK forces allied with the U.S. -- but we don't want any threats from east of the Euphrates, he added.

Turkish operations have cleared a 400-kilometer area stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to west of the Euphrates River, he said, adding that Turkish forces are now in a 350-km area of Iraq, stretching from Turkey’s Habur border to Iran, including Mt. Qandil, where the terrorist PKK’s headquarters is located,

He noted in the past two years Turkey changed its counter-terror policy from defense to offense, especially after the July 15 defeated coup attempt.

Turkey on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin. On March 18, Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army members liberated the town of Afrin, on day 58 of the operation.

Yildirim, Turkey’s last prime minister, is serving his last days at the post, as the country officially shifted to a presidential system of government last month, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s election victory.

Yildirim's premiership is due to conclude when a new government is formed next week.

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