The new administrative system
The constitution that was approved in the April 17, 2017 referendum will officially come into force following the elections held on June 24. Turkey from now on will be ruled under a new system.
I have been working on the main dynamics of what is described as the “Presidential Government System.” It is difficult to summarize in a single article how it works, but I can describe the five pillars of the system.
The president and vice presidents: They lie at the heart of the system and constitute the backbone of the system.
The council of ministers (cabinet): It will consist of 16 line ministries.
The offices: Four offices, namely finance, human resources, investments and digital transformation, will work together with the president. Their main task is to implement the Presidency’s projects by overcoming the bureaucracy.
The Boards: The 65 boards that currently exist in Turkey will be merged under nine boards. The president will chair those boards and they will also have acting chairs. Those boards will propose policies. They will also oversee the implementation of those policies and at the same time they will serve as a guide as to how those policies are implemented.
The Directorates: Under the new system there will be eight directorates, including the Directorate of General Staff, Directorate of National Intelligence, and Directorate of Religious Affairs. The Directorate of Strategy and Budgeting will be launched for the first time. It will be in charge of preparing the budget and will be overseen by the president. The Directorate of Communication will organize all media and communication activities.
A republic of boards
A group of people have been working on the executive orders that are needed for the implementation of the new system. Because the new system will come into effect after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is sworn in on July 9. And this new structure should be published in the Official Gazette.
To summarize, the directorates, the ministries, the boards and the Presidency that existed in the past are being restructured while the offices aforementioned will be established for the first time.
The most interesting aspect of the new system is the boards. A total of 65 boards, commissions and committees that are established with laws and other regulations are put together under nine entities, namely Social Policies Council, Law Policies, Security and Foreign Policies, Local Governments, Health and Food, Economy, Education and Science/Technology/Innovation.
Law Policies: A first
Those boards will develop policies and submit them to the president. They will also take some macro decisions that are beyond the responsibilities of the ministries. All those tasks of the boards appear to be a summary of the tasks of the currently existing boards except for one. This exception is the Law Policies Board. Is it not interesting that in Turkey, which has always delegated a number of issues to scores of commissions, boards and committees, a body that is tasked with setting the norms in the field of law never existed? You may say that there is the Judges’ and Prosecutors’ Board (HSK). However, this board does not decide on the policies but rather works like the human resources department of the judicial community.
Perhaps, “justice” has been one of the most troubled areas since the foundation of the republic because of the vacuum in this field.