The Perils of “Turkish Presidentialism”
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 May 2018
Turkey has switched to a presidential system via a referendum held in April 2017 that will take full effect after the 2019 presidential elections. Turkish presidentialism increases the prominence of the executive at the expense of the legislative branch and concentrates power in the office of the president. Executive aggrandizement will deepen ideological polarization and electoral mobilization by significantly raising the stakes of the game for both the incumbent and the opposition. As such, we posit that the new presidential system will institutionalize the de facto personalism and majoritarian rule that the AKP has hitherto established in recent years. This trend is likely to trigger a transition from a competitive authoritarian to hegemonic electoral authoritarianism in case of Tayyip Erdoğan's election, thus placing Turkey on par with the strongest executive systems around the globe such as Russia and Venezuela.
- Special Focus on Turkey: The Evolution of a Referendum
- Copyright © Middle East Studies Association of North America, Inc. 2018
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21 Theoretically, Erdoğan could also build a coalition with Kurds to win the presidency, however, current regional dynamics, particularly the crisis in Syria, render it unlikely at least in the short-run.
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