Jul 19 2018

President to make decisions alone, dissenters will be fired - Erdoğan’s top adviser

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will decide on how to run the country singlehandedly under the country’s new system of government, and any personnel who do not fit in will be immediately replaced, according to Mehmet Uçum, one of the president’s chief advisers.

The new system would make it possible for issues that had been held up under the old parliamentary system to be resolved in the space of hours through Erdoğan’s direct intervention, Uçum told journalist Hande Fırat of Hürriyet newspaper.

The system that would make this possible will likely raise the hackles of the opposition, however, as it places full responsibility for the country’s administration on Erdoğan’s shoulders, according to Uçum.

The president’s adviser outlined the workings of a system in which political boards and institutions would serve in only an advisory capacity, passing their analyses up to the president for consideration.

“To whom will all of these (dossiers) be sent? To the president. Who will receive the drafts prepared by political boards? The president. Why does the president need to make the decisions on his own? Because under the new system, the president is the person who holds political responsibility,” said Uçum.

Another advantage of amassing so much authority under the president is that it reduces the danger of conflicts within government because it simply removes room for dissent, said Uçum.

“If any kind of discord does arise, then this won’t turn into a systemic problem, but one of implementation. What does this mean? The sources of discord can be removed overnight, and replaced with people who can do the job properly,” Uçum said.

While Uçum was effusive that the system would become an “inspiration” to other countries, other observers were less enthusiastic. Duke University professor Timur Karan tweeted that such a system “assumes the president is omniscient.”