Turkey’s president says all he wants is same powers as Hitler

In a world first, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan uses Hitler’s Germany as a positive role model for his constitutional reforms

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) wants to give himself powers similar to Adolf Hitler

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) wants to give himself powers similar to Adolf Hitler Photo: Rex/AP

Turkey’s controversial President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sparked mockery and condemnation by defending new powers he wants to give himself as being similar to Adolf Hitler’s.

In a statement that surprised even his critics, Mr Erdogan responded to arguments that putting political power in the hands of the presidency would not work in a «unitary state».

He said there were other examples of its being successful. «There are already examples in the world,” he said.

“You can see it when you look at Hitler’s Germany. There are later examples in various other countries.»

The Turkish presidency at present is largely ceremonial, with most powers in the hands of the prime minister. However, when he was prevented constitutionally from standing as prime minister for a fourth election last year, Mr Erdogan stood for the presidency instead, and has used the position to continue his aggressive Islamist agenda.

In the meantime, he has been trying to change the constitution to formalise the situation.

Local critics used his words to argue he was becoming dictatorial, but in Israel they will be seen as another example of political insensitivity. Mr Erdogan has clashed with Israel on a number of occasions over his perceived support for Islamist, anti-Israel groups.

Online, Turks, bloggers and Middle East analysts all took to Twitter to express their astonishment.

Eliot Higgins, who has achieved celebrity status for his analysis of weapons usage in the Syrian war, said Mr Erdogan had achieved a first by managing to «Godwin» himself. «Godwin’s Law» is a joke rule of the internet which states that anyone who compares someone else to Hitler in an online argument has lost.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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