New system, new perspective - ÖZLEM ALBAYRAK

New system, new perspective

Turkey has officially transitioned into a presidential governing system. Upon evaluation of electoral behaviors, one can't help thinking that it is perhaps the most appropriate system for the Turkish people; they have always voted for the leaders instead of political parties or their doctrines even though Turkey was invariably governed by the parliamentary system since the early days of the Republic.

In the parliamentary system, however, the importance attached to leaders is not due tp the nature of the leaders. In this system, individuals are not prominent, but rather the order and its implementation. Its disadvantage is that it is more cumbersome and slow compared to the presidential system.

Whereas the presidential system, albeit still limited and restricted by laws and regulations, creates a more favorable ground for the emergence of the leader culture which Weber described as "charismatic authority." Because in this system, the leader candidates compete in person. This leads to a model in which the definition of "charismatic authority" will bloom.

Let's move to the details of "charismatic leader" concept. The charismatic leader is someone whose legitimacy society has accepted is fully committed to. The essential element in such a commitment is the profound trust in the extraordinary personal characteristics of the charismatic authority. The qualities sought after in charismatic leaders are not related to the leader's social status and professional expertise. Weber says, "Charisma must be perceived as extraordinary innate characteristics that cannot be achieved by hard work," which is why the charismatic leader is supposed to be endowed with a somewhat exceptional, spiritual power.

There is another dimension to the presidential system: this is the fact that politics separates into two mainstreams and thus competition is restricted to the two leaders with the highest vote potential and their supporters. There is nothing more natural in this system than the leaders of small political parties to support one of the two mainstream leaders. Therefore, during the pre-electoral process, I found the alliance that the Justice Development (AK) Party had with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and the alliance the Republican People's Party (CHP) had with the İYİ (GOOD) Party and Felicity Party completely normal. I was also convinced that those who felt perturbed with such alliances haven’t comprehended the presidential system at all.

Forming an alliance to the extent and duration that interests require does not necessarily mean that the political party or leader will be disreputed. Therefore, to criticize the participation of Abdullah Gül and Temel Karamollaoğlu in President Erdogan's oath-taking ceremony and to ask,"Why on earth are you here in the oath ceremony if you support the CHP?" was a totally wrong attitude; congratulating the elected candidates is an essential part of political courtesy.

As for the new cabinet, which President Erdogan announced a few days ago, some who are not familiar with the new system attempt to explain it with the functions of the Council of Ministers in the old system. However, the 16 new ministers should be considered as the 16 councilors who will support the president in their certain areas of specialty in the new system. Because that is exactly what is suggested by presidential system.

Ultimately the final approval of decisions to be taken by the ministers or the implementation thereof lies with the presidency. The function of the parliament must be construed in a similar manner to the Congress in the United States. In other words, powers such as drafting legislations and conducting an investigation of the president if the quorum is reached.

In the press conference after Erdogan's oath in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Erdoğan's answering the question "How should we address you? President of the Republic or simply President?" by a journalist in the form of "You may call me president" is not without a purpose. According to the constitutional amendment, which was voted for on April 16, 2017, the title of "head of the state” is attributed to the president of the republic.

As per Article 8th, which supersedes Article 104th, "The President of the Republic is the head of the State. In this capacity, he/she shall represent the Republic of Turkey and the unity of the Turkish Nation; he/she shall ensure the implementation of the Constitution, and the regular and harmonious functioning of the organs of the State. To this end, the duties he/she shall perform, and the powers he/ she shall exercise, in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the relevant articles of the Constitution are as follows: a) Those relating to legislation: To deliver, if he/she deems it necessary, the opening speech of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on the first day of the legislative year, To summon the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, when necessary, To promulgate laws, To send laws back to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to be reconsidered. To appeal to the Constitutional Court for the annulment part of whole or certain provisions of laws, decrees having the force of law and the Rules of Procedure of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey…”

Let's hope it will bring goodness for all of us. Turkey's most urgent problem to be solved is related to education. Therefore, I would like to wish the best of success to all other ministers, but in particular to Ziya Selçuk, the minister of national education.

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