Your TV 7 News from Israel – Turkish Elections

[Editor’s Note: The elections have now occurred. The insights of this studious panel of reporters and experts is worth a 2nd look. Also see the NYTimes article below for more recent information.]

Published on Jun 22, 2018 by the TV 7 Israeli News YouTube channel – Turkey will hold its presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday the 24th – in what arguably is the most important election in Turkey’s modern history.
To discuss the campaign, the main contenders and analyze the viable implications of the elections outcome, I’m join here in the studio by;
1. Miss Paula Slier, Middle East Bureau Chief of Russia Today
2. Dr. Eran Lerman – VP of the Jerusalem Institute for strategic studies and a lecturer
at Shalem College
3. Mr. Amir Oren –  TV7 Analyst

Erdogan, Flush With Victory, Seizes New Powers in Turkey

by Carlotta Gall for the NYTimes, July 19, 2018 –

ISTANBUL — Even before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey was inaugurated last week, he began elbowing his way into the front ranks of the globe’s strongmen.

Hours before taking the oath of office — after 15 years already in power — Mr. Erdogan published a 143-page decree changing the way almost every government department and public body in the country operates.

In the days since, he has issued several equally lengthy decrees and presidential decisions, centralizing power and giving him the ability to exert control in nearly all areas of life with almost unchecked authority.

At a moment when democratic systems around the world are under increasing pressure, Mr. Erdogan, who was re-elected in June, is among those leaders, like Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Viktor Orban of Hungary, who are using the levers of democracy to vastly expand their authority.

Among the changes Mr. Erdogan has put in place under the new presidential system are these:

• The prime minister’s office has been abolished;
• The military has been brought under firmer civilian control;
• The president will draft the budget and choose judges and many top officials;
• The president can dismiss Parliament and call new elections at will;
• The president appoints the head of the National Intelligence Agency, the Religious Affairs Directorate and the Central Bank, as well as ambassadors, governors and university rectors, among other top bureaucrats;
• Virtually none of the president’s appointments require a confirmation process.

None of the amendments Mr. Erdogan decreed were subject to public debate before becoming law. The vast accumulation of power fulfills Turkey’s shift from a parliamentary system to the presidential one that was narrowly approved by voters in a referendum last year.

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