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The Transformation of Turkey’s Political System and the Executive Presidency

This commentary analyzes the question of political transformation in Turkey, which has been a hotly debated issue for more than 40 years. Over the past decades, each proposal to reform the country’s system of government was met with resistance from critics and it was turned into a personal issue by targeting the plan’s supporters rather than the idea itself. After a brief analysis of the previous arguments, this study will focus specifically on the most recent efforts to adopt a presidential system, including the cooperation between the AK Party and MHP at the Parliament and the constitutional referendum, which will be held in 2017.

The Transformation of Turkey s Political System and the Executive
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses the general debate of the UN General Assembly’s seventy-first session. Presidency of the Republic of Turkey / Photo Gallery
 

Introduction

Long periods of instability often lead to fragmentation of political parties as a result of power struggles between them and, consequently, a lack of strong government. The lack of a strong government, in turn, results in a series of early elections and prolonged coalition talks, which further aggravate political instability. As the population’s confidence in the political process declines, guardianship regimes, which feed on popular distrust in politics, become centerpieces of the political system. In the end, if a country cannot amend its laws and constitution to address pressing problems, people start looking for a new system of government.

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