Tayyip Erdoğan intends to be an “active president” and aspires to expand the powers of the presidency. The fate of Erdoğan’s plans largely rest upon the June 2015 parliamentary elections.
On August 10, Turks go to the polls in an election widely expected to deliver another electoral victory for Turkey’s strongman, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His election is likely to be the result of a now-typical combination of circumstances: a formidable campaign machine, a weak opposition, a strong economy – but also a widespread use of administrative and financial resources that have tilted Turkey’s electoral playing field, and means that the country’s elections may still be free, but certainly not fair. Erdoğan will view his election as a coronation; as a confirmation that he is now the undisputed leader of Turkey. Few will note that he is technically moving to a less powerful position – and in this sense, the main implication of his move to the presidential palace is likely to be a further de-institutionalization of power in Turkey.