Erdoğan ally calls for overhaul of Turkey’s top court

Leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s junior coalition partner Devlet Bahçeli said Turkey’s Constitutional Court (AYM) is not up to par with the current executive presidential system and should be restructured, news website T24 reported on Wednesday.

“It is an inevitable necessity to restructure institutions shaped by the parliamentary system and to bring them to a point where they functionally support the Executive Presidential System," Bahçeli said.

In the 2017 constitutional referendum, Turkey abandoned its parliamentary system where the president had a mostly symbolic function in favour of a system that granted extensive powers to the president. Erdoğan was elected the first executive president in 2018.

Further democratisation, development and growth in influence for Turkey depends on the effectiveness of the executive presidential system, the Erdoğan ally said. “Today, our country is facing a front of animosity that is constantly consolidated and replenished.”

To fully implement the presidential system, Turkey must “be rid of all its obstacles,” and judicial institutions that were “the products of military coups must be democratised,” he said, suggesting a Supreme Court to replace the AYM.

The AYM has “issued rulings that inflict unmendable harm to national rights and sense of justice under the guise of rights violations,” Bahçeli continued.

Bahçeli’s comments came after Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu denounced the AYM for “approving the removal of the right to freely walk on main streets,” when it ruled to annul an article in the law on peaceful protests that banned demonstrations and marches on intercity roads.

Among Devlet Bahçeli’s other recent calls are the abolition of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), the reinstatement of the death penalty, and the amendment of Turkey’s election laws.