Turkey turns Presidential : Good or Bad?

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Turkey takes a sharp turn from being a Parliamentary republic to a Presidential one. Its EU membership is practically ruled out, if capital punishment gets reinstated.


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Turkey turns Presidential : Good or Bad?



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  1. A secular architect of modern Turkey : The architect of modern Turkey was Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881 – 1938). He was a Turkish army officer and founder of the Republic of Turkey, serving as the first President from 1923 till 1938. He saved the Ottoman Empire from being divided and split by Allies post World War I, and established the foundation of the Turkish Republic in its place.
  2. The new Pasha steps on the stage : President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (the leader of the Justice and Development party - AKP) has governed Turkey since 2003, first as a reforming prime minister but lately as a strongman president who has come to treat all opposition as a form of treason. Turkey has witnessed a series of experiments with the military and a secular elite in charge. The current constitution was written by generals following a 1980 military coup.
  3. Unrest, change, referendum : It all started with Gezi Park protests (a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Turkey that began on 28 May 2013, initially to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park) and has ended with a constitutional referendum to replace Turkey's parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency and abolish the office of prime minister, giving the "Yes" camp 51.5 % of the vote. In 2016, a military faction tried to overthrow the government, and Erdogan’s govt claimed that it was at the behest of Muhammed Fethullah Gülen who is a Turkish former imam and political figure. As the founder of the Gülen (service) movement he currently lives in exile in the United States.
  4. Presidential versus Parliamentary : Turkey's political system has changed from a parliamentary to a presidential one! The referendum approved 18 constitutional amendments converting Turkey's political system. They set a limit of two five-year terms for presidents. The slender margin of 51.4%, of his victory is a sign of how deeply divided Turkey now is.
  5. Autocratic : Critics argue the reforms will hand extensive power to a man with an increasingly autocratic bent, leaving few checks and balances in place. The referendum was held with a state of emergency still in place, imposed after an attempted coup in July.
  6. An EU candidate : Turkey has been an EU candidate for decades, but its accession efforts have been on the verge of death for several years. Mr Erdogan has also vowed to consider reinstating the death penalty, a move that would all but end prospects of EU membership.
  7. Deep Dive : Read more on Turkey - here
  8. Very angry with the EU now : Why has Turkey become so annoyed with EU countries, particularly Germany and Holland? Part of the reason is the migrants deal of 2016 (intended to prevent mass influx of refugees into EU countries). Turkey claims that the EU has not kept its promise to financially support Turkey and, most importantly, that Germany and Holland did not permit Turkish ministers to hold meetings with their dual-citizens there concerning the Turkish referendum in April 2017.
  9. Changing and widening parameters : Since the end of World War II, Turkey has become a member of several European and Western organizations, culminating in its formal application for full membership of the European Community in April 1987. However, EU criteria, which were originally, based purely on economic development and security expanded to include fundamental human rights, including political, economic and social-cultural rights.
  10. Father State : Turks believe that the state is sacred for their survival; it is perceived as untouchable regardless of system, ideology, religion and method – it is above all. It may be the only nation in the world which refers to the ‘Father state’.
  11. Download Resources : Also, download many PDFs on world politics from our Bodhi Resources page here
  12. Do check out exams-focussed Confidence Booster series of learning resources, here! For developing your word power, go to our Vocabulary Boosters here
  13. A few images to set the perspective for this topic -

From monarchy to secular republic to Presidential!

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The glorious Ottoman empire

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Turkey - the land bridge between Asia and Europe


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Bodhi Saar: Turkey turns Presidential : Good or Bad?
Turkey turns Presidential : Good or Bad?
Turkey takes a sharp turn from being a Parliamentary republic to a Presidential one. Its EU membership is practically ruled out, if capital punishment gets reinstated.
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