No plans for a federal Turkey: President Erdogan

President again rebuffs claims Turkey would move towards federalism after referendum

Ahead of Sunday’s historic referendum, the nation’s president again ruled out any plans for a federal system in Turkey.

A federal system “is not on our agenda, it will not be,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.

“We are the greatest advocate of the unitary structure of Turkey,” Erdogan told in a rally in the central province of Konya.

Turkey is a unitary country, and has had no regional administration with executive powers since the establishment of the republic in 1923.

Erdogan’s remarks come after opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli voiced concern over allegations the government plans to move the country towards a federal system after the April 16 constitutional referendum.

The constitutional changes, which are supported by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and the MHP, aim to shift Turkey’s current parliamentary system towards a presidential one, abolishing the Prime Ministry.

Earlier Friday Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also quashed the talk of federalism, going so far as to say he would resign from all positions he holds if the post-referendum constitution led to any such move.

Erdogan himself earlier addressed the allegations Thursday, blaming them on how remarks by one of his aides had been “twisted”.