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New presidential decrees redefine public institution authorities in Turkey

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has issued nine more presidential decrees making extensive changes to public and autonomous institutions, reinstating the State Theaters (DT) and State Opera and Ballet (DOB) after a previous amendment to the relevant laws had been interpreted as abolishing them, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.

With the new presidential decrees numbered four to 12 issued on Sunday and Monday, more than 52 institutions were redefined and the structures and authorities of supervisory and financial bodies were changed.

The previous presidential decree abolished all relevant laws concerning the legal status of the DT and DOB, which had been interpreted as having shut down the institutions.

With the new decree, the legal status of the state’s art institutions was reinstated as it is linked to presidential authority and their directors can be appointed from outside the institutions.

The authorities, duties and organizational structure of the State Audit Institution (DDK), which had carried out the auditing of public and private institutions except for the military and the judiciary, were also changed.

The authority of the DDK was redefined as “the supreme inspection body of all audit systems within the state structure.”

The council in the past prepared reports on its subjects and conveyed them to the relevant authorities. With the decree the DDK can now draft reports on disciplinary inspections with the authority to file criminal complaints against officials in private, public and military institutions.

The decree also includes military institutions in the council’s authorities, which used to be outside its supervisory jurisdiction. The General Staff, all service commands, military schools, troops, brigades, the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation and defense industry companies will be within the council’s audit authority.

With the decrees the central bank, Ziraat Bank and Halkbank were linked to Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.

The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), Capital Markets Board (SPK), Public Oversight Accounting and Auditing Standards Authority and Central Finance and Contracting Unit will also be overseen by Albayrak.

In previous laws the institutions had been related, linked or affiliated with various ministries. With this decree all bodies have been defined as “related” to Albayrak.

Other such institutions include the Revenue Administration and Privatization Administration.

With this decree the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) is now linked to the presidency.

The decree also redefined the higher education board and relevant laws.

According to the new decree rectors will be appointed by the president from among candidates who have more than three years of experience as a professor. 

The annulment of articles related to the qualifications of rectors with a previous decree were also interpreted as an annulment of the requirement of being a professor in order to become a university rector.

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