Ankara Issues Special Decree Transferring New Powers to President – Reports

According to Reuters, Turkey has issued a special decree transferring some new powers to the incumbent president, in line with the country’s changes of the political system that were introduced earlier during last month’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

Turkey’s Official Gazette has published the decree that brought about changes in legislation dating from 1924 to 2017 altering references to the prime minister and the government to the incumbent president and the president’s administration.

In June, the Hurriyet newspaper reported that the position of prime minister would be abolished in Turkey because of the country’s transition to the presidential system following the general elections on June 24.

The amendments, which give the incumbent president more powers, were approved at the referendum held last year, with 51.4 percent of the voters backing the reform. A president can now appoint 12 members of Constitutional Court and four members of Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. Moreover, the Turkish president will now have the powers to appoint vice presidents and parliamentary officials and influence in the country’s judicial system.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured his victory last month in the presidential election with 52.6 percent of the vote. In April, Erdogan called for early parliamentary and presidential elections to be held in June, moving them up from the initially scheduled time from of November 2019.

Turkey’s referendum on constitutional amendments sparked some controversy in EU countries with large Turkish diasporas. Several pro-reform campaigning events were canceled by local authorities in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Ankara has been in a prolonged state of emergency and is reportedly taking measures to bolster presidential powers following a failed coup attempt in July 2016.