Erdoğan and his vision document

Published 16.07.2014 01:08

The echoes of the presidential vision document that Erdoğan announced still continue as opposed to the People's Republican Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) joint candidate Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu's speeches and metaphors that are about the past and belong in mid-20th century Turkey.

Both domestic and foreign policy discussions focus on Erdoğan's presidential vision document that was unveiled on Friday.

Despite being the focus point of intense political discussions, the vision document hints that Erdoğan envisions a presidency that uses all the power the current constitution grants rather than the position simply being "executive." The document is written neither as a government nor as a party platform. There is no need to deny the existence of an odd list of visions and goals for the president. Yet this is not strange since primarily, the system in Turkey is not exactly a parliamentary system.

To point, the powers that are granted to president in the Constitution put him in a very different position. Also, the president, with such power, will be chosen by the public from now on. The popularly-elected president will be the candidate who receives more than half of the vote. It is clear that this will make the president a powerful figure in the government.

Hence, the public choice will remove the validity of all the practices between the president and the government, or at the very least, make it problematic.

This reality enables Erdoğan to actualize his goals of "jurisdiction," "a new constitution," "social integration," and "justice and jurisdiction" in the vision document and opens the way for him to be a pioneer, though he might not be an "executive" like the Constitution stipulates.

These two elements seem to boost the effect of his vision. First, Erdoğan's vision document expounds upon the AK Party's 12 years of success. It points to the goals that belong to a political consciousness that is formed after a hundred-year fight for democracy against the military and tutelage.
Second, is that the AK Party is expected to be in power in the future.

For these reasons, we should not interpret this list of goals merely as a manifesto of a presidential candidate. All these goals can only come to life if a new social contract and a new democratic constitutional system are formed.

The vision document consists of the goals that need to be accomplished to realize this undertaking. The review of these goals will be the subject of another article.

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