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Thread: Erdogan wins Turkish election

  1. #1
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Erdogan wins Turkish election

    Erdogan has just been re-elected with 52.5% of the vote, with the powers formerly belonging to the prime minister now having been fully merged into the office of the presidency.

    Source: http://www.dw.com/en/the-impact-of-t...ers/a-44387981
    The impact of Turkey's election: Erdogan's sweeping new powers

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been working toward an executive presidency in Turkey for years. Now, he's got what he wanted a victory that gives him sweeping new powers.

    In a constitutional referendum in April 2017, a slim majority of Turkish voters approved of the presidential system that was President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's goal. And now that he's capped that with a victory in parliamentary and presidential elections at the weekend, the powers of that new system are at his disposal. Critics fear this has paved the way for absolute one-man rule in Turkey. So what powers has Erdogan gained? An overview:

    President and head of state and government

    Turkey no longer has a prime minister. The president, whose office was largely ceremonial up until now, is now chief executive. The president is responsible for appointing and dismissing vice-presidents, ministers and senior officials. He decides how many there will be, and parliament has no say in these matters. Members of his cabinet are not allowed to be lawmakers.

    Rule by decree

    The president can issue decrees that become legally binding once they are published in the government's official bulletin. Parliamentary approval is not needed. If parliament does adopt a related law, the decree then becomes invalid. Presidential decrees may not curtail constitutional rights or impact existing legal regulations. With the exception of the budget draft, only parliament may introduce bills.

    President and majority leader in parliament

    Before the reform, the president was committed to political neutrality; now, he may remain affiliated to a party. The president is thus the head of the largest party, which makes him majority leader he effectively controls parliament. Erdogan reassumed party leadership of the AKP in May 2017.

    Double elections

    Going forward, parliamentary and presidential elections will take place on the same day, in both cases for five-year terms. Scheduling the elections on the same day increases the likelihood that the respective president's party will have the majority in parliament. Sunday's vote was originally planned for November 2019, but Erdogan pulled it forward.

    Two terms and more

    Technically, the president can only serve for two five-year terms. But the governing AKP has created a loophole: if parliament decides to hold new elections during the president's second term, the latter is allowed to run once more. Under the new presidential system, previous terms don't count, giving Erdogan a fresh start. Using the loophole, he could theoretically stay in power until 2033.

    Fewer rights for parliament

    Turkish lawmakers have lost their right to dismiss ministers. Parliamentary inquiries must be made in writing, and not to the president but to the vice-presidents and ministers. Lawmakers could start impeachment proceedings against the president, not just for treason but for any criminal offence. The hurdles are high, however. A two-thirds majority of all lawmakers is required to refer an investigation to the judiciary.

    High hurdle for smaller parties

    The highly controversial 10 percent threshold to enter parliament, which disadvantages pro-Kurdish parties in particular, remains unchanged.

    Limited judicial independence

    The constitutional reform gives the president more control over the judiciary. He appoints six of the 13 members of the Council of Judges and Prosecutors, which in turn appoints judges and prosecutors. Parliament, where the president is majority leader, chooses the council's other members. Under the previous system, legal professionals themselves chose most members of the 22-member body. Turkey's military courts have already been abolished.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  2. #2
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Full article: https://www.dw.com/en/recep-tayyip-e...key/a-44569548
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan: The sultan of 21st-century Turkey

    Turkey's new presidential system will officially enter into force on Monday. That will give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan powers that no democratically elected leader of Turkey has ever had.

    On July 9, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will take his oath of office in parliament. Turkey will thus officially move from a parliamentary system to a presidential system. Just 13 years have passed since Turkish officials started EU accession negotiations. At the time, it seemed that democracy, freedom of expression and social harmony were growing. Now, however, Turkey is preparing to endow its increasingly Islamist, nationalist and authoritarian president with an unprecedented amount of power. The abolition of parliamentary control gives Erdogan sole power over the executive branch of government. And, through his power to appoint important judges, he will also control the judiciary.

    Ersin Kalaycioglu, a senior scholar at Sabanci University's Istanbul Policy Center, said the potential consequences remained unclear. "So far, the new system has only been discussed with us in broad lines," Kalaycioglu said. "This means that neither the public nor political scientists know the exact details."

    Erdogan has repeatedly stressed that other democracies also have presidential systems. However, Turkey's differs considerably from the US's, as well as from France's semipresidential system of government. In the United States, for example, the president does not have the power to dissolve Congress. Erdogan, on the other hand, can dissolve parliament and call elections. In France, parliament appoints the members of the Constitutional Court. In Turkey, on the other hand, the president makes the decisions concerning the high court.

    Kalaycioglu points out that Turkey's presidential system caters to autocratic tendencies. "There is a strong civil society in both the US and French systems," he said. "We don't have that."

    Erdogan will now also be able to regularly issue presidential decrees. He had previously only been allowed to do so under the rules of the ongoing state of emergency since the failed July 2016 coup. Erdogan will now be able to overrule the judiciary at any time. The oversight of an independent and impartial judiciary will therefore be effectively impossible. The political scientist Dogu Ergil shares Kalaycioglu's fears. He believes that the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary have been abolished.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

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    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    So now he is a despot at a minimum...

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