Turkey's President cites Germany under Hitler as example of effective government

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) has mentioned German dictator Adolf Hitler (right) in response to a question on whether it is possible for Turkey to change its parliamentary form of government.(Wikipedia)

To most people, the words "Adolf Hitler" and "Nazi" have become taboo due to the controversies that come with them. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, thinks otherwise.

In a recent press conference, Erdogan used Germany under the leadership of the murderous dictator as an example to push for a presidential system of government while maintaining the unitary structure of the state.

"Yes. There is nothing to say that you can't have a presidential system in a unitary state," Erdogan said, as quoted by The Independent.

The Turkish leader was responding to a question on whether it is possible for Turkey to change its parliamentary form of government into a presidency without splitting the country's seat of power in two.

"There are already some examples in the world today, and also some from the past. You see it when you look at Hitler's Germany. Later you see the example again in various other countries," he added, shocking even his staunchest critics.

Unsurprisingly, President Erdogan's statement was quickly met with criticisms. Some pointed out that his words indicated that he is becoming more and more dictatorial.

Eliot Higgins, who analysed the use of weapons in the Syrian civil war, for instance pointed out that Erdogan became the first world leader to have followed "Godwin's Law," an Internet joke wherein if anyone who compares someone else to Hitler in an online argument has lost.

Erdogan's office, meanwhile, immediately clarified his statements on Hitler, saying the Turkish leader does not condone anti-Semitism and crimes against humanity.

"Whether it is parliamentary system or a presidential system, bad rules that end in disasters can emerge if the system is misused, as it was by Hitler's Germany," the statement from Erdogan's office stated.

"It is unacceptable to reflect the president's statement as a positive reference to Hitler's Germany," it added.