Parliament Speaker Arinc: Military will not interfere in elections

Parliament Speaker Arinc: Military will not interfere in elections

Speaking in response to the news that a group of retired lieutenants had written a letter to the Turkish military's General Staff, asserting that the military should "interfere in the upcoming presidential elections," Speaker of the Turkish Parliament, Bulent Arinc, noted last night on ATV that "the job of the General Staff is not to elect the president." Arinc also noted of the retired military members' recent letter that "these sorts of initiatives make me annoyed."

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Arinc went on, "We have long since passed through the periods in our history when tanks would roll down the streets. There are no organizations which should interfere in law-making. And in particular when it comes to the job of electing the president, there is no one who can interfere in our authority. The job of electing the president is the job of the law-makers. People say 'This parliament should not elect the president.' If a politician is the one to say this, he will receive his answer. We are going to have an election according to constitutional law, and I will do whatever I can to assist this."

A turbaned first lady?

Referring to the controversy in some circles over the possibility of a "turbaned first lady" in the Cankaya Presidential Palace, Arinc said yesterday "There are no rules about whether the wife of the president should have a covered head or not. People might be more or less religious, but this does not create a danger for the governmental order itself."

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