Istanbul — Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan acquired some additional new powers on Wednesday as part of a transition to an executive presidency that will culminate on July 9 with his taking the oath of office for a new five-year term.
Turks narrowly backed the shift to the executive presidency in a referendum last year. The changes are due to take full effect following the victory of Erdogan and his AK Party in June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Erdogan will take his oath in parliament on July 9 at 4pm and a ceremony will then be held at his palace in Ankara, officially ushering in the new executive presidency, which replaces a parliamentary system in which the prime minister and government had held most power.
Under the new arrangements, the post of prime minister will be scrapped. The president will select his own cabinet and chair its meetings, and will also be able to form and regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval.
A decree published on Wednesday in the official gazette makes changes to laws dating from 1924 — just after the founding of the Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk — to 2017, altering all references to the prime minister and cabinet of ministers to the president and the president’s office.
The government has been issuing decrees, bypassing parliament, since a state of emergency was imposed following an attempted military coup in July 2016. Erdogan has promised to lift emergency rule after the election.
The official results of last month’s elections are likely to be announced after 5pm on Wednesday, High Election Board chairman Sadi Guven told reporters.
Initial results showed Erdogan obtained 53% of votes in the presidential election, while his ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party took 43% of votes and its MHP nationalist allies 11% in the parliamentary contest.
Parliament is scheduled to convene three days after the announcement of the official election results for legislators to take their oath of office.
Erdogan is expected to announce his new cabinet after taking his own oath of office. Sources have said he could give his nationalist allies cabinet posts, rewarding their support for the AK Party in parliament.