Turkish Political System

Introduction

Turkey is a sate ruled under materialistic liberty as well as known principles. The state was formed in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It has a senatorial organization regime which lawfully offers protection of human rights and gives freedom to its citizens. Its sovereignty is divided into three; Statutory, parliament, and executive.The Supreme statutory jurisdiction in Turkey is the Anayasa Mahkemesi. The executive department is answerable to the constitutional court that may also be required to evaluate and disapprove a ruling. Turkish political system has been trying to reform for many years, the reforms have gone on a slow pace due its political and cultural differences.

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Historical background

Turkey was held as a fortress of greatness by the Ottoman Empire for many years. The natural powers of the empire continuously declined in the course of the nineteenth century. Colonialists brought confusion in the Muslim Ummah through their polite strategies. Their aim was to bring Islamic elements to an end in order to achieve their strategies.At the time of world war I, Germany and Turkey had come together to form a union. Turkey was defeated in the war, and for that reason, it lost its national stability. At the same time, it lost its territories in the Asian continent. It also did not have access to the states it owned in the west.

When the Turkey was declared a republic in 1923, Kemal became its first president. He mobilized Turkish forces to resistance and brought independence to some of the territories. He was declared a public hero which advanced his identity. The political and social life of the modern Turkey is dominated by his reasoning ad judgment. Kemal brought changes to all parts of life in order to restore nationwide evolution. The reforms were designed not only for national growth but also for maintenance and revolutionary reasoning. He brought changes in the training of materialistic ethics.

Ataturk strongly opposed the enactment of the traditional way of life that emulated spiritual judgment. He, therefore, introduced the Anti-spiritual strategies for the purpose of eradicating the traditional attitudes and sluggishness. He undertook the most realistic action was moving the central from Ankara to Istanbul. Kemal was voted in by the Grand National Assembly to lead the nation. He used dictatorial sovereignty in his regime. He declared the following objectives in the country; Republicanism, Secularism, Turkish Nationalism, Revolutionary changes and superiority of the public will. The announcement of these objectives came with different reforms.

His reign lasted for fourteen years and brought a lot of changes to Turkey. He reformed the spiritual, societal and developmental aspects of the people of Turkey as well as the legislative and commercial organization. The regime increased its Anti-spiritual action in 1925 and demolished all spiritual orders. It forbade one from having more than one wife and restricted the general dress code .people were forced into diplomatic marriages.

In 1928, Islamic spiritual denomination was abolished and the Latin characters we replaced with the Arabic writings. Kemals rule ended after his dead in 1938.Turkey had witnessed a lot of positive changes in his reign. His aim was to develop Turkey to achieve economic growth without any foreign aid.

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Political institutions

The military is the most powerful institution in the country, though there have been constitutional reforms to reduce the military powers. Two main reasons that make the Turkish military so powerful is its vast size, Turkey has the second largest military in terms of personnel in NATO, and the latter is the military is highly specialized to deal with the Kurds. It has a high budget of over $12 billion and they cannot allow any budgetary cuts. Its political influence is not influenced by size alone but it is cohesive and the most disciplined institution in Turkey. The military has been involved in intervening four times since 1960 to change the government of Turkey. Once the military takes over the nation, it restores civilian rule and order in the country; the military comes in order to fight Kurdish separatism, change foreign affairs policies and defend secularism. It shares the views of Ataturk ideology of a westernized, secular Turkey hence seem as the guardians of secularism.

The framework of the politics in Turkey is a secular parliamentary; this means that the government is run by the prime minister while the president of Turkey is the head of state; this is a ceremonial role. Turkey has a separate political system whereby the power is practised by the cabinet which consists of the council of ministers; the legislative is powered by parliament or commonly known as the Grand National assembly of Turkey.

The national assembly is run by the speaker. The 550 parliamentarians represent 81 provinces. For a party to have representation in parliament, it must garner 10% of the national vote. For an independent candidate to run and to be elected they must garner 10% of the total votes cast in the province. After elections are held the Grand National assembly elects a president, the president serves for a seven-year term. The prime minister, head of the government is appointed by the president. Once the prime minister is appointed, parliament passes a vote of confidence to allow his appointment. He is also the leader of a political coalition in parliament. The prime minister is also the leader of majority in parliament. Though the president has a more ceremonial role, he also has some executive powers.

Political parties

AKP is an Islamists in Turkey where the current president, Erdogan, and Prime Minister, Davutoglu, hail from. The party came to power in 2002, the 14 years of its rule has completely changed the role of Turkey in NATO and its relations with Israel. Since then Turkey has become a major critic of the Israeli government, pro-Islamic and cannot be relied upon to support the policies of Nato . Recently there have been accusations that the AKP government is supporting the rebels in Syria linked to many human rights violation in the small Middle Eastern nation. The leader of the party, the current president has successfully managed to destroy the secular nature of the government. He has de-powered the military guarantor of socialism and changed the Turkish constitution. His government has imprisoned military, media and political rivals who dare oppose him in public or disagree with his ideologies. Recently the party was able to garner 49.83% of the seats in parliament, though it did not get the 50% majority, the president is determined to change the Turkish constitution further so that all the political power can be controlled by the president. Since the current president rose to power the powers of the prime minister reduced, now the president is the head of both the government and state.

The HDP- this is a somewhat minority party and is associated with Kurdish support. In 2015 June the party won 13% of the popular vote, this came as a shock to many people, especially the political elite. This popular vote hindered the president to win with a landslide. HDP is still at risk of losing its seat in parliament because the president may decide to displace just 4% of the party. The implication this action will bring is HDP will be disbanded from parliament, and the remaining 9% will be divided among other parties. The current president never expected the Kurdish and non-Kurdish voters to join hands and vote as one block.

Republican Peoples Party: the party is famously known for its association with Atat?rk, the CHP is first party to be formed in Turkey. The CHP is secularist party and poses the biggest opposition to the ruling party AKP; CHP won 26% of the seats in parliament in 2002. Though they garnered 26% they offer little opposition to the government, because they have to join with the Kurdish party HDP, and could well be dealt easily by a death blow if the current ruling party is to win majority in parliament in the future the CHP is fighting for its survival by planning talks by the ruling party to form a coalition in order to avoid an election. The party fears that if the elections would be held their survival will come to an end as the ruling party is on a quest to destroy his opponents and the CHP is the biggest opposition he his facing. If the coalition talks do not bear any fruits, the party may request barely last a few months, live alone years.

The PKK or Kurdistan Workers Party: six years after this party was formed there was outbreak of war as the Kurds were struggling to gain their independence. This party has never been permitted by the government to hold any political seats because it is termed as a terrorist organization. These allegations come from the fact that most Islamic radicals support the rebels in Syria are members of that party. So the party does not have any political power and is not seen as a political opponent to the rule of the current president and ruling party.

The framework of the politics in Turkey is a secular parliamentary; this means that the government is run by the prime minister while the president of Turkey is the head of state; this is a ceremonial role. Turkey has a separate political system whereby the power is practised by the cabinet which consists of the council of ministers; the legislative is powered by parliament or commonly known as the Grand National assembly of Turkey.

In Turkey religious and cultural minorities form about 15% of the approximately 70 million people. The Kurds have tried to assert uniqueness and equality in the country but their efforts have been met with force from the government and other institutions like the military. The Alevi are also a minority with at least 20% of the population and their efforts to assert their uniqueness in the country has been met with indifference. The Alevi are great supporters of secularism because it is the only thing that can end their oppression from the majority, Sunni. Another minority in Turkey are the Alawi, between 1993 and 1995 there occurred a Sunni-Alawi violence that caused unease among the Alevi.

Context of Turkish politics

Political culture: Kemalism versus Islam

In Turkey women do not usually take part in the electoral process, because they are treated as secondary citizens. The culture of the Turkish people condones violence against women and the laws against such vices are not greatly followed by the judiciary. Women accept male dominance but in recent times there have been changes as women prefer to have equality as men, this recent change is attributed to the fact that Turkey has eighty year old history of democracy and self rule. There has been increasing women participation in workplace and family, two family incomes has become a necessity to most Turkish families. Women are also becoming educated, this enhances their ability and participation in a marriage and family matters. Ataturk tried to change the cultures of Turkey to try to westernize it but he faced opposition, not saying that he failed but it polarized the political culture into the western camps and Islamic culture.

 
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Political economy and international independence

The economy of Turkey had had series of endless turmoil and volatility; the factors have led to a weaker political system. The elites of Turkey believe that a religious government will be able to change the current economic issues since the secular government is not doing much about it. The economy is worsening because the government continues borrowing from the IMF, and in turn the IMF is trying to bring changes in Turkey which is opposed by the government and the people. In recent years reforms to improve its economic status have been put in place, though the government is spending a lot of resources towards the military. The government has also reduced taxes and started providing more services to the poor population. Though questions have been raised about where the government is getting it revenue while it has reduced taxes and provides subsidies to the citizens. Turkey is a political and economic hostage of foreign pressure. Turkey joining the the European union is the first solution to help its economic and political turmoil. Turkey has worked had to conform with the EU agenda. A great hindrance to its independence is the emergence of the Kurdish republic in northern Iraq.

Conclusion

The republic of Turkey had undergone a lot of reforms and changes since it was declared a republic, but it still needs more reforms in order to enhance the economy and maintain a stable political system. These reforms must include involvement of women in the electoral process. The Islamic government is gaining favour with the citizens because of the reduced taxes and subsidies to the poor. The differences in Turkey should be resolved to help the country attain its agendas. The major institutions should come together and promote the main ideologies of the country, whether secularism or Islamism. Political and economic independence will also help in the improvement and stabilization of the republic.

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