Former EU minister says Turkey should approve executive presidency to avoid civil war

In an audio leak in 2013, AKP's ex-Minister for EU Affairs, Egemen Bağış had been heard taking large bribes from Turkish Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who is currently imprisoned and awaiting trial in the US on charges of violating sanctions against Iran.

Disgraced former Minister of European Union Affairs Egemen Bağış said in a radio show on Saturday that citizens in Turkey should vote in favor of executive presidency in April 16 referendum to avoid civil war.

Talking at Cri Türk radio Bağış responded the question on changes await Turkey if people vote ‘yes’ in the April 16 referendum that will expand the president’s powers.

¨We have to say ‘yes’ to make Turkey stronger, to have stability and avoid civil war ¨ the former minister said who was had to step down in 2014 as a result of a massive corruption investigation.

Bağış was accused of being bribed by Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab who is currently under arrest in the United States. The due process was aborted in Turkey when the government covered up the corruption investigation implicating Bağış and other ministers of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as well as the family of the then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Bağış currently serves as an advisor to Erdoğan.

Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 to switch from parliamentary system to executive presidency. Critics oppose the change on ground that a one-man rule will be institutionalized in the country. ( March 19, 2017

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