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Reforming the Policymaking Process in Turkey’s New Presidential System

The system of government in Turkey shifted from a parliamentary to an intrinsic presidential system, in which the president solely employs the executive power granted from the constitution, after the elections held on June 24, 2018. Following the elections, the central government was reorganized in quite a short time. While the reorganization process will continue for a certain period, it seems that the main policymaking actors and their role in the new system have substantially emerged. This study provides a legal and institutional analysis of how the public policy process and the roles and responsibilities of policy actors changed as a result of the restructuring of Turkey’s central government under the new presidential system.

Reforming the Policymaking Process in Turkey s New Presidential System
The first cabinet of the Erdoğan Administration, created on the basis of the new presidential system, meets for the first time on July 13, 2018. KAYHAN ÖZER / AA Photo

Introduction

In the aftermath of the controversial presidential election in 2007, Turkey passed a constitutional referendum to introduce popular presidential elections. The country’s president was elected directly by the people for the first time in 2014. As a result, the Turkish system of government moved closer to semi-presidentialism in practice, although it remained parliamentarism de jure. Taking into consideration the risks and problems that the system’s ambiguity entailed, a new constitutional referendum was held on April 16, 2017 –when the electorate agreed to the adoption of the ‘Presidency’ system of government. Those changes presented Turkish policymakers with a new reform wave in public administration. Following the June 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections, the country formally transitioned to presidentialism and it became necessary for the authorities to create a system of public administration compatible with the new system. Thus, Turkey restructured the organization and functions of its public administration, as the process of public policy development, the decision makers and their roles underwent certain changes.

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