Erdoğan’s headaches: Not just ISIL, PKK and Syria

For observers who do not want to see more tension in Ankara, it might be a relief to see that it is not President Tayyip Erdoğan, but rather Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu who is going to Australia on Nov. 12 to attend the G-20 summit.

It is true that up to now only prime ministers from Turkey, as the head of the government’s executive body, have attended G-20 summits. That was usually also the case for NATO summits, even though it was Erdoğan who attended the NATO meeting in the U.K. shortly after he was elected president in August.

To be frank, it is not only Erdoğan who is responsible for the confusion over whether the president or the prime minister is the head of the executive body. In the Constitution adopted after the 1980 military coup, the generals stated (in Article 8) that executive power is held by “the president and the board of ministers” - thus dividing it. However, it is Erdoğan who said before he was elected that he was planning to use “all powers given to him by the Constitution.”

He has still yet to summon the Cabinet for a meeting chaired by himself; but it is common knowledge in Ankara that he bypasses the prime minister in consulting and instructing ministers, and that ministers do not hesitate to bypass the prime minister in reporting back to the president.

It is also a common knowledge that Davutoğlu’s choice as the prime minister’s undersecretary was Gökhan Çetinsaya, the former head of the Supreme Election Board (YÖK). But that was not possible. In the end, Kemal Madenoğlu, an able economist, was appointed to that position with Erdoğan’s approval. Çetinsaya formerly served as the undersecretary for the Development Ministry, which had made the construction of the $615 million...

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