Turkey begins transformation into presidential system ahead of Erdogan's inauguration

Turkey begins transformation into presidential system ahead of Erdogan's inauguration
The wording in some 5,000 laws were changed Wednesday before President Erodgan takes office under a new system with substantially expanded powers.
2 min read
04 July, 2018
Erdogan addresses supporters at AK party election rally [Getty]

Turkey issued a decree on Wednesday to adjust its current laws to a new presidential system that comes into effect over the weekend, paving the way for an executive presidency that critics warn will lead to one-man rule.

The decree changes the wording in some 5,000 laws, removing references to the prime minister — whose office has been abolished — and transferring some powers to the president.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the presidential election on 24 June with 52.6 percent of the vote, according to results which have yet to be confirmed by Turkey's electoral council.

Erdogan will now rule with substantially expanded powers in line with constitutional changes that were narrowly approved in a contentious referendum last year. He will now be able to form and regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval. 

The government has already been bypassing parliament since July 2016, after Erdogan imposed emergecy rule following a failed coup attempt.

Since the failed coup, Turkish authorities have arrested at least 55,000 people as part of a wide crackdown on dissent. Erdogan blames the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen for the coup attemp, a charge Gulen denies. 

The changes in the latest decree will take effect on 8 or 9 July, after Erdogan is sworn in. He has vowed to lift emergency rule after the 24 June election. 

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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