‘Presidential system of governance’ published in Turkey’s Official Gazette

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Front R) greets people with former-Turkish Military Chief of Staff General Necdet Özel (2nd L) during a parade in accompany with the Turkish Armed Forces' Mounted Escort of Honor Unit and Turkish Presidency Motorcycle Team at the parade area of Ataturk Culture Center within Turkish Republic Day celebrations on the 91st anniversary of republic foundation in Ankara, Turkey on October 29, 2014. AFP

The presidential system of governance, or executive presidency, in Turkey that was introduced as part of a constitutional amendment package and passed by Parliament on Jan. 21 was published in the Official Gazette on Friday after it was approved President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The reform package will now be put to a referendum, likely on April 16, in accordance with a date to be selected by the Supreme Election Board (YSK).

According to the package, the age for candidacy to Parliament will be lowered to 18 and the number of deputies in Parliament will increase from 550 to 600.

Once the package is approved in the referendum, the president will be able to retain links to his party and serve as the sole head of the executive branch. The party membership of the president will start in 2018, but his other responsibilities will not become effective until 2019.

Abolishment of the prime ministerial post gives the president the authority to appoint vice presidents, ministers and high-level public officials.

The president will also be given the authority to issue decrees and to declare states of emergency and will also have the authority to abolish Parliament with the condition that his term in office will also end.

According to the package 301 of 600 deputies are required to file charges against the president, while 360 deputies are needed to establish an investigation commission, and 400 deputies are necessary to refer him to the Supreme State Council.

According to the package half the members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) will be chosen by the president, and the rest will be named by Parliament.

The number of Constitutional Court members will be decreased from 17 to 15 by removing two members from the Military Supreme Court of Appeals.

Military courts will be annulled, and the commander of the Gendarmerie Forces will be removed from National Security Council (MGK) membership.

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