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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Imperial ambitions Erdogan may lead to lack of resources

Constitutional reform that will turn Turkey into a presidential (or rather super-presidential) Republic of, has entered a decisive stage. In addition to strengthening the personal power of the President Erdogan, it begs several other questions. For example, which will lead the country and the region, his neo-Ottoman vision Imperial ambitions Erdogan in combination with such broad powers?

The Turkish Parliament has approved the main provisions of the constitutional reform, which involves the transition from the current mixed presidential-parliamentary form of government to presidential.

“List of the coming changes in the political system of Turkey itself clearly explains why the opponents of reform accuse the President Erdogan’s usurpation of power and the establishment of authoritarian forms of government in the country”

The key points of the reform will be the following:

the President will have the right to issue decrees without submitting them to Parliament.

the President will have the right to appoint Vice-presidents, Ministers and other senior officials;

the President can appoint 12 of the 15 members of the constitutional court;

the President will have the right to be referred to the constitutional court the laws passed by Parliament;

the President will have the right to stay on duty to be the leader of a political party.

In addition to the expansion of presidential powers, the reform also intends to increase the number of members of the national Parliament (from 550 to 600) and the right to become a Deputy with 18 years (in contrast to the current 25). In addition, the election cycle for Parliament has increased from four to five years.

The next step will be a vote in Parliament for amending the basic law of the country. Success will require 330 votes of the deputies of that guaranteed, as supporters of the reforms are Pro-government Party of justice and development Party and the national movement, which together have 355 votes.

At the same time they lack the votes to reform through the Parliament exclusively, for which they must 367. The opposition center-left Republican people’s party and the Pro-Kurdish Party democracy peoples represented in Parliament, strongly oppose the proposed changes to the Constitution. The opposition in Parliament is so hard that it even came to a major fight.

Thus, after a vote in Parliament on the question of constitutional reform will be put to a national referendum. Doubt that it will be supported by the citizens, almost no one expresses, including the harshest of his critics. President Erdogan relies on a real and broad support of the masses.

The list of future changes in the political system of Turkey itself clearly explains why the opponents of reform accuse the President Erdogan’s usurpation of power and the establishment of authoritarian forms of rule in the country.

However, in addition to increasing authoritarian tendencies of the constitutional reform carries with it not less but maybe even more important message. Turkey more extensively and consistently repudiates the heritage of Ataturk.

In place of secularism, civic nationalism and Pro-Western orientation more openly come neo-Ottomanism, Islamism and authoritarianism, the epitome of which is the leader of the country.

The current modification was not the first step. In 2007 was the constitutional reform, which among other things transformed the parliamentary system of Turkey into a mixed presidential – parliamentary. The President’s powers were expanded and he was elected in direct elections and not by Parliament, as before. In 2010 completed the second wave of constitutional reforms, which main purpose was the sharp curtailment of the political weight of the army. As you know, Kemal namely the army made the guarantor of a secular and Pro-Western path of development of Turkey.

As shown by the attempt of a military coup in the summer of 2016, Erdogan was not in vain feared the military as an independent political force and in recent years have sought to cut back on their capabilities and political weight.

However, in addition to many natriuretic matters of constitutional reform and puts a lot of foreign policy.

Erdogan, in fact, has never hidden his neo-Ottoman vision of its Imperial ambitions. They, among other things, led to a sharp deterioration in Russian-Turkish relations during the second half of 2015. If you manage to finish the constitutional reform, the Turkish President actually will have a free hand to implement any foreign policy plans and adventures that comes into his head.

The question is whether he will take advantage of this opportunity.

The events of recent months show that rather no than Yes. Of course, Erdogan may be a Grand dream of reviving the Imperial grandeur of his country. However, the events of recent months showed that the situation had – and Turkey in General – rather, “not to fat-be alive”.

The country shaken by the attacks, the Kurdish problem is growing, and the murder of the Russian Ambassador became a vivid symbol of what Erdogan still can’t trust his own security forces, despite the extensive (and rumored to be extremely violent) cleaning since the military coup.

At the same time, Turkey remains a key power in the region, which is actively involved in the solution of all problems and conflicts, including the Syrian. That’s just the level of internal instability with a high probability it confers on her the role of Junior partner.

Accordingly, large-scale constitutional reform of Turkey with the extension of the powers of the President, is likely to be aimed at strengthening the regime of personal power of Erdogan and the retention of internal stability in the country. For the implementation of major foreign policy ambitions of the Turkish leader’s likely is simply not enough resources, even with maximized power.


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