World Bulletin / News Desk
With Turkey’s elections fast approaching, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shed light on the new presidential system of government late Thursday.
Speaking during a special joint live broadcast on Turkish channel ATV and channel A Haber at Istanbul’s new airport, Erdogan unveiled what it will bring.
“We will reduce the number of ministries to 16 in the presidential system of government,” he said.
He listed them as the Ministry of Justice, Interior Ministry, Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of National Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Ministry of Treasury and Finance, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labor, Social Services and Family, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Industry and Technology and Ministry of Trade.
Emphasizing that the new system would cement the separation of powers, the president said the link between the government and parliament would be cut.
“In the new system, the government would just be authorized to submit a parliamentary bill on the budget. The authority for the parliamentary bill only pertains to the parliamentarians,” he said.
As another reform under the new government system, Erdogan said four significant offices would be established.
“In the first stage, four offices for Human Resources, Investment, Finance, and Digital Transformation bear great importance under the new model because they are almost the closest staff to the president,” he said.
The president also shed light on the directorates to be established under the new model.
“And also, of course, there are directorates to be affiliated to the President, and eight directorates are at stake here,” Erdogan said, naming them as the Directorate of General Staff, Directorate of National Intelligence, Directorate of Defense Industry, National Security Council, Directorate of Religious Affairs, State Supervisory Council, Directorate of Communication and Directorate of Strategy and Budget.
Erdogan also mentioned the changes in the economy under the new system.
“Economy administration will be simplified. We will reduce the number of related ministries, which is six now, to three,” he said.
Economy administration would be based on production, finance and trade, Erdogan said.
He also mentioned nine councils that will be created which will bring forward proposals for policies and submit reports.
Among them are the Social Policies Council, Health and Food Policies Council and Art Policies Council, Erdogan said.
Asked what the motive was behind such a radical and new system, Erdogan said some handicaps in the current system prevented them from implementing most of their work as they wished.
“The sluggishness of these structures [under the current system], which I constantly call ‘bureaucratic oligarchy’, the operations and processes in the institutions stand in our way,” Erdogan said.
“We aim to clear the way with the presidential system of government.”
Regarding a question on the number of vice presidents under the new system, Erdogan said the structure in parliament would affect the decision on it.
Voters will head to the polls on June 24 -- less than a week away.
Over 3 million Turks living abroad are eligible to vote for the presidential and general elections.
Six candidates are running for president while eight political parties are taking part in the parliamentary elections.
Erdogan has served as president since 2014 -- Turkey's first popularly elected president. Before that, he served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014.
If reelected Sunday, he will be Turkey’s first president under the new presidential system of government, which was chosen by Turkish voters in an April 2017 referendum.
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