Why Turkey’s Erdogan wants to be more like Queen Elizabeth
Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the UK a "semi-presidency" during an interview on a state TV channel. (AFP/File)
Turkey’s president has big aspirations. He doesn’t want to be a sultan, but he does want to be like Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
The comments by Recep Tayyip Erdogan were made on the state-run TRTchannel on Thursday, and were quoted by AFP.
Erdogan explained that his desire for an expanded presidential role would not undermine democracy, pointing to the UK as an example.
"In my opinion, even the UK is a semi-presidency. And the dominant element is the Queen," he said.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy, governed by a parliamentary system, but its hereditary monarch wields only symbolic power.
Erdogan's comments came after fresh criticism from the opposition that he would act like an "Ottoman sultan" once his presidential role has been boosted, noted AFP.
Erdogan said that leaders of presidential systems in the United States, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico are not accused of acting like monarchs.
"I mean, why is it only a monarchy when an idea like this is floated in Turkey?" he asked, adding, "We need to speed up to close the gap in this race. The biggest advantage... would be in abolishing policy-making through multiple channels.