On 9 July 2018, H.E.Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took oath in front of the parliament and Turkey has shifted its system from a parliamentary democracy to a presidential one, in line with the results of the referendum which the majority of people voted for the change. Heads of States from 20 nations and Prime Ministers/Speakers of Parliament from 22 countries attended the ceremony.
H.E. Mohammed Asim, Minister of Foreign Affairs was in the ceremony representing H.E. President of Maldives who was personally invited by special letter signed by Erdoğan.
Both parliamentary and presidential elections were held on 24 June 2018. Erdoğan, who was serving as president since 2014 was re-elected in the first round with 52,6 percent of votes. Six candidates contested in the elections and the second in line collected 20 percent less votes than Erdoğan.
The elections also recorded the highest voter turnout in the seven decades long history of multi-party democracy in Turkey with 87 percent. The new parliament reflects the voice of %98 who voted. 17 percent of the MPs are women, which is also the highest figure of 95 years old republic.
This week also coincides with the second anniversary of the failed terrorist coup attempt on Turkish democracy. On 15 July 2016, terrorists who have hidden themselves in uniforms within the Turkish Armed Forces for the last three decades, bombed the Parliament, the Presidential compound and the barracks of the security forces. Using tanks, F-16 fighters and helicopters of the nation, cold- bloodedly murdered 251 people and wounded more than 2000, mostly civilians who tried to stop them in the streets. This failed coup attempt on Turkish democracy was orchestrated from within the US territory, where the perpetrators were receiving their orders from. Hard evidence indicated that it was a primary school graduate cleric, living in self-exile and harboured by the US since the 90s. His terrorist organization, FETO, has been operational in more than 170 countries, including Maldives for years under the disguise of education and operating schools.
When I first visited Male, Honorable Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed, Speaker of the People’s Majlis told me that, he followed the international TV channels broadcasting live the attempt on Turkish democracy while silently praying for the Turks. He further commented that he was relieved after having seen President Erdoğan calling the nation to resist the putschists and the coup failed. I was sure that his words were reflecting the feelings of all our brothers and sisters in Maldives.
15 July 2016 will also remain as a date which Turks understood clearly who were their real friends. The democracy-lovers of the West and their political leaders who always try to teach others what democracy is, waited for days to call Turkish leadership and to say few words after being sure that the democracy won.
On Sunday, the Turkish nation will remember those who fell while defending the democracy.