Upon assuming the role of Turkey’s first directly elected president, Former Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promised to create a “New Turkey,” and asserted that he aspires to be a new type of president—a “people’s president” imbued by a popular mandate, exercising significant authority.
He has lived up to that promise. Since his election, Erdoğan has embarked on several projects declarative of the strong presidency he wants to create, including building himself a lavish presidential palace on protected land and carrying out a campaign against the independence of the Turkish judiciary. “Get used to this,” a defiant Erdoğan said to his critics, “I will never be an ordinary president.”
In a new analysis, the Bipartisan Policy Center examines Turkey’s presidency, its Constitutional powers, and historical uses to better understand what might be expected during President Erdoğan’s tenure.