ISTANBUL, Turkey, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- The office of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the president's comments lauding Hitler's government were misinterpreted by the news media.
"Such a comparison [with Hitler's Germany] is out of question. It is unacceptable to represent statements by Mr. President, who had declared anti-Semitism and Holocaust a crime against humanity just like Islamophobia, made positive reference to Hitler's Germany," the statement said.
Erdogan drew criticism Thursday by mentioning Nazi Germany as a historical example of effective presidential systems in unitary governments.
"You can see it when you look at Hitler's Germany," he said. "There are later examples in various other countries."
The statement sought to contextualize the comparison saying that Erdogan's comments were meant to show that an executive presidency does not have to be based on federalism.
"If the system is abused, it may lead to bad management resulting disasters as in Hitler's Germany," it said. "The important thing is to pursue fair management that serves the nation."
Erdogen, Turkey's first popularly elected president, has been working to establish a constitution and executive presidency in the country.