Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, June 23, 2017 02:21:48 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

More powers for Erdogan : Would it be good for Turkey?

By
20th-Apr-2017       Readers ( 120 )   0 Comments
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all (0) »

Simon P. Watmough and Ahmet Erdi Öztürk :
Turkey is approaching a critical juncture in its long-term political development. Irrespective of the outcome, the country's April 16 referendum, which proposes changing the constitution to concentrate power in the hands of the president, heralds a new political era.
Many signs seem to point to a narrow victory for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his attempt to establish an executive presidency a la Turca, but the result is not a foregone conclusion. Should Erdogan's suggested reforms be rejected, Turkey's near future would be defined by its president's next move. Without a formal shift in constitutional structure, Erdogan could resort to nefarious means to consolidate his grip on power. Alternatively, given his long-standing ambition to establish what we call a "constitutional Erdoganistan", he might simply pause briefly before attempting a second bite at the cherry.
Turkey has a strong parliamentary system with a prime minister as its head. The referendum proposes to abolish the role of prime minister and replace it with an executive presidency. A major shift like this is something that has only happened a handful of times since the republic was founded in 1923 according to renowned historian of Turkey, Erik J. Zürcher.
The country's political system has already undergone significant economic, social, and political changes since the Justice and Development Party (known by its Turkish acronym AKP) came to power in 2002. The AKP was an eager champion of legal reforms relating to Turkey's EU candidacy and accession starting in 2004. And in September 2010, it successfully shepherded changes aimed at bringing the constitution into compliance with EU standards.
Still, were the Turkish people to vote "yes" on April 16, the changes would be fundamental and irreversible. The referendum proposes 18 amendments that will abolish nearly 70 years of multiparty parliamentary government, moving Turkey away from the core norms of a pluralist, parliamentary state of law by reducing the separation of powers and the checks and balances system, among other changes.
Erdogan's aim is to transform the country into a majoritarian authoritarian system centred on one man. What Turks are risking is nothing less than "democide" - the scholarly term for voting to abolish democracy itself.
Since the birth of the Turkish Republic in 1923, Turkey's parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, has been the place where national sovereignty resides.
In the early republican period, it was dominated by the party of modern Turkey's revered founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938). Since the transition from single-party rule to a multiparty democracy in 1946, the parliament has been the crucial institution in the political life of the country.
Elected lawmakers have long shared power with strong guardians of institutions such as the military, the judiciary and Turkey's government bureaucracy - all Kemalist-dominated - in a kind of hybrid political system not unlike that of contemporary Iran, Thailand, Pakistan and Myanmar.
The parliament has also served as the site where governments have been formed, thrown out of office and restricted. As the scholar of Turkish constitutional development Ergün Özbudun notes, "even at the height of Atatürk's prestige, the Assembly rejected a proposal to give the President of the Republic the power to dissolve the Assembly".
Under Erdogan, the AKP has worked through the parliament to legitimise its rule. By 2010, it had vanquished the last Kemalist bastions within the state thanks to successive landslide electoral victories and a now-defunct strategic alliance with the Gülenists (members of a Muslim-organised educational community, who follow the US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen). Since then, Turkey has been a weak electoral democracy, with the power of the National Assembly slowly eroding. A "yes" victory in the April 16 referendum could permanently diminish the authority of this venerable institution.
The authoritarian style Erdogan has in mind for the future was already on display during the referendum campaign itself.
Erdogan's tone has been aggressively nationalistic and populist. He compared European countries' criticism of the campaign with the attempts of the Allies to dismember Turkey at the end of the world war, for instance. And he promised to reinstate the death penalty after the referendum.
If Erdogan prevails in the April 16 referendum, the plan is to hold presidential and general elections together in 2019. Were he to win these, Erdogan would be eligible to serve two additional five-year terms, allowing him to stay in office until 2029. His previous terms in office (2003-2014) would not count toward the two-term limit.
As president, by current law, Erdogan had to resign from his party and officially assume a politically neutral stance. But under the new rules, he could rejoin the AKP, which, according to opposition parties, will abolish any chance of impartiality. The proposed amendments also make it harder to remove the president from office. The proposed changes will grant the president wide-ranging powers to issue binding decrees with the force of law. And even though these will be subject to judicial review, the president himself will appoint most of the judiciary. With his new presidential powers, Erdogan would also be enabled to indefinitely extend the current state of emergency that was put in to effect following the failed July 2016 coup against him.
Despite the uneven playing field, surveys show that the referendum race is tight, and Erdogan could be defeated.
Currently, both the opposition Republican People's Party and pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party are advocating a "no" vote in the referendum. DISK, a left-wing trade union body, and numerous other NGOs and civil society groups have also come out against the proposed changes.
A narrow loss on April 16 would be a blow to Erdogan, but it is unlikely to kill his ambition. He is expected to simply regroup and try again, including by renewing the state of emergency that gives him wide-ranging authority to continue bypassing parliament.
This is Erdogan's modus operandi: to foment and instrumentalise social crises to centralise power.
Thus, rather than stabilise the situation, a "no" vote is likely to induce further volatility in Turkey. Erdogan can be expected to quickly introduce a new package of "constitutional reforms" ­- a move that would require either a national crisis or a new "enemy of the Turkish people" as a pretext. In a sense, no matter who prevails on April 16, Erdogan may remain undefeated.

(Simon P. Watmough is Postdoctoral research associate, European University Institute. Ahmet Erdi Öztürk is Research Assistant, Université de Strasbourg. Courtesy: The Conversation).

0 Comments. Share your thoughts also.
Write a comment
Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Mayors must do more to contain chikungunya in city


THE outbreak of mosquito borne diseases like a new type of fever called chikungunya, in addition to dengue fever in the city and elsewhere is causing additional concern to city dwellers and public health authorities how to protect people from this danger. People in most families in the city are ...

Back Page »

Zum'atul Wida


Abdul Muqit Chowdhury :The last Friday of the Holy Ramzan is called 'Zum'atul Wida'. It means 'departing Zum'a'. The musallies with due religious fervour join the Zum'a congregation and bid farewell to this month of patience and self-restraint. Al-Quran imposes obligation of the Friday prayer in the followingverses : "O ...

Cricket »

Malinga in hot water over 'monkey' comment


AFP, Colombo :Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga faced an investigation Thursday after he compared a government minister to a monkey following criticism that the country's cricketers were too fat.Sports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said he ordered an inquiry after Malinga lambasted him for questioning the endurance of Sri Lankan players ...

Entertainment »

Harry and Sejal grooving on Radha


Jab Harry met Sejal’s first song Radha is out and it’s as refreshing as it can get. The song features Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma dancing to the tunes of Sukhwinder Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan on the streets. The peppy number with its foot tapping music and catchy lyrics ...

Entertainment »

Samia Rahman’s Eid reality show Rupantor


Entertainment Report :A reality show will be telecasted in five days of Eid holidays and its result will be announced during this time. This short-term reality show Rupantor is planned by Samia Rahman. She will moderate the show. She will select 30 university females among hundred students. Produced by Samia ...

International »

Macron adds new faces to Cabinet after losing 4 ministers


AP, Paris :French President Emmanuel Macron brought several little-known figures into his government Wednesday as part of a reshuffle after corruption scandals started tarnishing his young Cabinet.Macron had planned to rearrange the government after his centrist party won a majority in parliamentary elections Sunday. He was forced to make more ...

Editorial »

Postponement of new VAT, but much more is needed


THE New VAT Act scheduled to become effective from July 1 is facing new crisis as the Finance Minister has been asked by the highest authority of the government to postpone it for the time being and find out why controversies with business communities and other stakeholders still remained unresolved. ...

Cricket »

Darren Sammy remains in Rajshahi Kings


Sports Reporter :The fifth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Cricket will be held in this year. Defending runners-up Rajshahi Kings has started to form their team. West Indian star Darren Sammy led Rajshahi Kings in last year's BPL. Rajshahi Kings have retained Darren Sammy for this year's BPL. The ...

City »

Bangladesh Institute of Planners organised a discussion meeting on landslide at Jatiya Press Club yesterday.


Entertainment »

Afzal Sharif’s Eid TVC


Entertainment Report :Actors of the small screen always believe that they must have worked either play or telefilm in Eid. On the other hand, actors of big screen want their acted movie must be released in Eid. As a result, they pass the Eid festival joyfully. But actor Afzal Sharif ...

International »

State Department chastises Saudi Arabia, UAE over Qatar


 The Washington Post :The State Department issued an unusual public warning to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday over a diplomatic rift with fellow U.S. ally Qatar, and suggested that the Saudis may have provoked a crisis and drawn in the United States on false pretenses.Department spokeswoman ...

Editorial »

Encouraging violence is easy but containing not


AT the beginning we have to admit that we are glad the government leaders condemned the brutal attack on Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the Secretary General of the majors opposition party BNP. In a highly rowdy situation Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's convoy came under attack allegedly by followers of ruling party ...

Football »

U-16 girls win Begum Sufia Kamal award


The Under -16 Girls who have kept the Bangladesh football's flag flying with their international success were finally rewarded when Bangladesh Mahila Parishad honored the Bangladesh women's U16 team with this year's Begum Sufia Kamal Award for their performance on the field.BFF's head of women's football, Mahfuza Akhter Kiron received ...

City »

Aparajeya Bangladesh formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday in protest against attack on BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in Rangunia.


Entertainment »

Tariq Anam, Suborna, Babu, Naziba`s Eid play


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :On the occasion of coming Eid, noted playwright and director Badrul Anam Soud has made a special play titled Durer Manush. Soud himself has written its story. Soud informed that story of the play revolves with a girl named Orpa.Naziba Bashar played the role of Orpa. Therefore, ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news