Baku, Azerbaijan, May 12
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
Replacement of Turkish prime minister which is expected to happen in late May will lead to further strengthening of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's power, Soner Cagaptay, Turkish Research Program Director in the Washington Institute believes.
"[Prime-Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu's resignation means further consolidation of power in the hands of a man who is already the most powerful politician in Turkey since the country became a multiparty democracy in 1950," Cagaptay told Trend by email.
Turkish ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party will hold an extraordinary congress and elect a new party leader on May 22. In Turkey the head of the ruling party also serves as a prime minister. The current prime minister and head of the government Ahmet Davutoglu decided to resign after some disagreement with President Erdogan.
Davutoglu said he would step down after an extraordinary party congress and not run for the office again. Five candidates, including Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication Binali Yildirim, Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, and the ruling party's vice chairman Mehmet Ali Sahin have been nominated for the position of the ruling party's new chairman.
Cagaptay believes that the new prime minister will be hand-picked by Erdogan and will be more compliant to Erdogan's aspirations to alter the Turkish constitution to his liking to introduce an executive-style and omnipotent presidency.
The expert expects that few people will even recall the name of the new leader, much like in Jordan or Morocco, where all-powerful kings overshadow little-known prime ministers.
Cagaptay noted that Erdogan is de facto head of government and head of the ruling party in addition to already being head of state.
"This personalization of power and the hollowing out of political and civil institutions make the country increasingly vulnerable. When Erdogan eventually leaves office, there will be few institutions left standing to keep it together," the expert believes.
Edited by SI
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