Erdoğan considering abolition of local democracy – columnist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is considering changes that would replace locally elected officials with centrally appointed bureaucrats after the 2019 local elections, wrote Ahmet Takan, a columnist and former presidential adviser.

Citing presidential palace sources, he said Erdoğan had got the idea after meeting the governor of a province in which many local officials had been removed from their posts. The result had been that the popularity of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had increased, the governor said.

“The governor opined that local councils to which an administrator had been appointed were very efficient, that in those places pro-AKP winds were blowing and that this was reflecting very well in the opinion polls,” Takan wrote.

In turn, “Erdoğan noted that this appointment and accession system for mayors was in place in certain countries and it had seen successful results.”

Takan also wrote that Erdoğan had more ideas about changing the constitution in the aftermath of the next round of elections, planned for 2019:

What’s on the palace’s desk?... A narrowed-constituency system in which Turkey will be divided into 120 electoral areas. In general, every electoral area will be able to elect five MPs. In exceptions, where it suits the AKP’s interests, some electoral areas may elect either four or six members.