The Changing Position of the Turkish President Due to Proposed Constitutional Reform – The End of the Parliamentary System in Turkey?


Strengthening presidential powers in the Turkish parliamentary system has been the aim of many political actors since the beginning of discussions about the new constitutional framework in 1980. Direct presidential election, as one of the main features of the semi-presidential and presidential systems, has become especially salient with the turbulent events following the recent presidential election. Introducing direct presidential election is the main ambition of a new constitutional amendment which has already been passed in the Turkish parliament. In the case of a favourable result for the referendum, the amendment will bring about futher strengthening of the Turkish president’s position and possibly change the entire Turkish political system. The aim of my contribution is to analyze the existing powers of the Turkish president as well as the consequences of this prospective constitutional change. The analysis concludes that in the Turkish political system, the president has a stronger position than is usual in classic parliamentary systems, and the constitutional change would strengthen the semi-presidential features of the Turkish political system even more. Consequently, the advantages and disadvantages of both presidential and semi-presidential systems are briefly evaluated and applied to the Turkish situation. The aim is to predict how these systems might function in the specific conditions of Turkey, and to offer some optimal measures to support the stability of Turkey.

Turkey; political system; presidential powers; presidential; semi-presidential and parliamentary system




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