It has to be made crystal clear that the 2014 presidential elections saw Turkey enter a new political phase in its history where the leader of a political movement that won the support of the masses became the president. That person is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The fact that the people elected Erdoğan with 52 percent of the votes shows the popularity of this leader in the eyes of the Turkish masses. What people do not seem to comprehend, especially in the West, is that Erdoğan remains the leader of the political movement led by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and is regarded as the most popular politician in Turkey by the masses.
The fact that Erdoğan was elected by popular vote and not by Parliament has allowedhim to exercise the immense powers given to the head of state in Turkey as a politician who has come to office with 52 percent of the national votes.
So what has been created in Turkey is a de facto presidential system. What is crooked is that you have an elected president with huge powers and no accountability and an elected Parliament that is weak and cannot even supervise the president. So that is why the president wants to change the Constitution and put the record straight where the powers of the president, Parliament and government are all well-defined and a just balance is established.
What is sad is that this could not have been achieved by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who, thus seeing the needless confrontation getting sharper in time, decided to step down and call for an extraordinary party convention to elect his successor, both as party chairman and prime minister.
For the pessimists, they will be looking at the issue from a very negative angle seeing the glass as half empty. For the optimists, they will be looking at the issue from the perspective of a glass that is half full.
So when you look at the half-empty glass, you see that that a prime minister who says he was doing a good job is effectively quitting. In fact, his party and his administration, steered by the president, were doing a good job. You see that he has been mistreated by his party executive, who curbed his powers to appoint local party officials as chairman. However, no one mentions that people around Davutoğlu tried to toy around with the party set up. You see a prime minister who is allegedly a liberal and a democrat who has not been properly appreciated. However, no one mentions that the people around him tried to portray him in the West as so while creating the image that Erdoğan was the person stalling Turkey. You just see a fine academic wasted. You also see that he has been the victim of his own advisers who urged him to stand up to the president and if necessary challenge him. You see a prime minister who says when Erdoğan was elected as president he said he wants a strong prime minister and thus that is what he wanted to be. What he did not understand is that Erdoğan said this to honor him but in essence, Davutoğlu did not understand that he was still the second fiddle and that there is only one boss and that is Erdoğan. He was there to carry out the daily running of the government while the boss looked on. He was there to change theConstitution and push for the legislation of a presidential system. Yet he stalled.
For the optimists who see the glass half-full we can say that Davutoğlu's departure may speed up the positive change in Turkey toward a viable political system. It will not change Turkey's viability as a good economy in a world of turmoil and it may help show the world that Turkey is a functioning democracy without Davutoğlu as its prime minister. An academic's touch by Davutoğlu was welcome but it is time Turkey was run by political realities.
So Davutoğlu will go and a new prime minister will come. Erdoğan will remain the boss and whoever comes has to agree that they are still second fiddle.