If Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan can realize the transformation to the presidential system that his advisers have been advocating, it would amount to the most significant Turkish revolution since Kemal Ataturk’s, says Mustafa Akyol, a columnist for Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse and a columnist for Turkish Hurriyet Daily News and Star:
Erdogan, in fact, would be as powerful as Ataturk, controlling the executive and legislative branches. He would gradually prevail upon the judiciary as well, because the president has the power to appoint members to the Constitutional Court and other key institutions. He would even be able to appoint all the presidents of Turkey’s universities, because the universities are controlled by the Supreme Education Board, an institution that a military junta created in the 1980s. (Turkey’s generals, who devised a centralized and overarching state, naively believed this huge body would always remain in their hands.) Meanwhile, the media will probably feel the need to become more supportive of, or at least amenable to, the all-powerful president.
In short, it seems to be Erdogan’s game plan to rule Turkey for at least 10 more years under a very centralized, if not personalized, presidential system, he writes for Al-Monitor. Of course, whether he will be able to do that is another question. He is not a dictator, so he needs to win votes. First, he needs to win the presidential elections in August and then consolidate power as president and win again five years later.