Turkey, Politics

Presidential system was 'turning point' for Turkey: VP

New system’s streamlined decision-making and implementation helped Turkey against 2018 economic attack, says Turkish VP

  | 20.01.2019
Presidential system was 'turning point' for Turkey: VP

By Zehra Melek Cat

ISTANBUL

Turkey’s vice president said Sunday that Turkey’s new presidential system represented a turning point in governance in the country.

In an interview with CNN Turk, Fuat Oktay emphasized the benefits of the new system’s streamlined decision-making and implementation in the context of the economic "attack" Turkey faced last August.

He stressed that the new system, adopted in a 2017 referendum, eliminated ambiguities and duplication in authority.

Oktay also said Ankara “would not allow” the PKK terrorist organization to establish a state in northern Syria.

Reiterating plans to form a safe zone 32 kilometers (20 miles) deep into Syria in territory controlled by the terror group, he stressed that Turkey would "never" accept the formation of a new terror corridor beyond this frontier.

“This issue is about Turkey’s safety. Turkey has made the necessary preparations [to prevent this],” he added.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people. The YPG/PYD is the group's Syrian branch.

After two successful counter-terrorist operations since 2016 against the YPG/PYD in areas of Syria near Turkey's border, Turkey has promised a third in the coming months, east of the Euphrates River.

Oktay also praised the “warmth” of a Friday concert by Turkish pianist Fazil Say which he attended with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other top government figures, as well as visiting U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham.

“I hope to see more of this type of event,” he said.

International cooperation

Underlining that Ankara is looking to cooperate with various Latin American countries in such areas as biotechnology and health, Oktay said he had discussed the prospect of research cooperation in biotechnology as well as cancer and similar illnesses with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel when he visited Turkey earlier this month. 

He said the two countries are currently working together to research vaccines and diabetes.

Oktay also encouraged Turkish businesses to invest in agriculture in places such as the African nations of Sudan and Niger, saying that Ankara would support them in any way possible.

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