Alright so I wanted to get your opinions on this one. Turkey had a referendum this Sunday and voted in favor of constitutional amendments centralizing more power in the hands of the President. Among the numerous changes are:
The president becomes the head of the executive, as well as the head of state, and retains ties to a political party.
He or she will be given sweeping new powers to appoint ministers, prepare the budget, choose the majority of senior judges and enact certain laws by decree.
The president alone will be able to announce a state of emergency and dismiss parliament.
Parliament will lose its right to scrutinise ministers or propose an enquiry. However, it will be able to begin impeachment proceedings or investigate the president with a majority vote by MPs. Putting the president on trial would require a two-thirds majority.
The number of MPs will increase from 550 to 600.
Presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on the same day every five years. The president will be limited to two terms.
As with anything, there are two sides to this argument. Now you can go look them up for yourself and reply with what you think, but here is how I see it. My arguments are simple, I get to the bottom line right away. You know how when sometimes you want to do something, and you don't tell someone the real reason you want to do it and instead make up 2 or 3 feeble excuses for why you want to do something? Yeah I won't do that here. I'm sure there are many pros and cons to these amendments, but this is the overall picture of how I see it. Let me know your opinions.
Turkey is a fragile democracy, ridden with economic problems, terrorism, divisiveness etc. Centralizing power in a person that yes, has personal political ambitions, but also cares about his people and the prosperity of Turkey, will partly tear down state bureaucracy, making it more efficient and in turn making the Turkish state more powerful and the country more prosperous. Democracy is a mess. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Especially in a country like Turkey, they need a strong leader to hold it all together. Under Erdogan, more conservative values will be pushed forth, giving Turkey a stronger Muslim identity and better civil cohesiveness. I'm merely trying to see this from a Turkish perspective and get an idea of its best interests.
Yet, 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'. It can be argued that in the long term, relatively unchecked power will have dire consequences in modernizing the country. Sure in the short term, things might look good. But one aspect of extractive political institutions where power is narrowly concentrated is that they lead to extractive economic institutions not inclusive ones. Meaning that citizens will have less chance of participation in economic life of a country, and that economic growth will not be sustained as no new technologies will be implemented on a mass scale as they undermine the power of an authoritarian regime (reference to the book Why Nations Fail). This constitutional reform may lead to short term economic prosperity and law and order in Turkey, but in regards to long term prospects, the future looks uncertain.