Turkey's new gov't program aims to immediately fulfill significant reforms

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
Published 27.11.2015 00:11
Updated 27.11.2015 00:17
Turkey's new gov't program aims to immediately fulfill significant reforms

The 64th government's program emphasizes new reforms effecting the constitution, democratization and its 2023 goals, together with consolidating political stability in the country and taking further steps for economic progress

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has announced the new government's program on Wednesday, where he stated that the 64th government will be a government of reform. The newly introduced government program in which the word "reform" is mentioned 43 times, aims to fulfill improvements mainly in the areas of democratization and justice, education, public administration, public finance and root changes in real economics as well as primary transitional programs.

Turkey is continuing its devoted efforts towards achieving its 2023 goals and the newly introduced government program aims to strengthen the political stability and economical enlargement process. As discussions on transparency in government continue, Prime Minister Davutoğlu stated that a solid base will be established to present the action plan in details, firstly in three months, then six, followed by one year.

Under the framework of democratization and justice, the major reform will be the establishment of a new constitution along with a shift from a parliamentary to the presidential system. The current constitution of Turkey was drafted two years after a military takeover in 1980 and numerous amendments have been made to it since. However, it still fails to meet the needs of the nation. According to the program that has been revealed, the core principle of the new constitution will have ethical bases including human dignity. Emphasizing the necessity of comprehensiveness, inclusiveness, integration and diversity as well as freedom, with the new constitution the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government aims to further work jointly with the Constitutional Reconciliation Committee established in the parliament.

In addition to the new constitution, need to establish of a new governing system is underlined in the program. The current parliamentary system still reflects the 1960 coup bureaucracy and the newly introduced government program stresses that it fails to fulfill the basic needs of a democracy. Furthermore, reforms in judiciary tops as another major item in the program. A new judicial system has been planned within the framework of European Union standards and international norms. The program further stresses on realizing transparency, accountability and speediness in the judiciary, while stating that New Judicial Reform Strategy Document is to be applied more actively.

With the unrest in the Middle East, especially that caused by the ongoing civil war in Syria due to the Assad regime, the new government also aims to make diplomatic reforms, where relations with Western countries as well as Russia and Africa will further be enhanced.

The most frequently mentioned item under the topic of foreign policy is Turkey's accession bid to the EU. The AK Party's reformist government aims to realize Turkey's EU membership on the 100th anniversary of the Republic. In line with this, a Turkish visa liberalization is hoped to be finalized soon.

In addition, reforms in public administration, while strengthening coordination through a responsible Deputy Prime Minister, aim to also create a "reform work force." Also listed as one of the most significant aspects on the government's agenda are a wide range of developments in higher education. In efforts to further enhance higher education in Turkey, the 64th government will establish a "Higher Education Quality Board." To meet the needs and requests of citizens in higher education, "The Higher Education Planning Committee" will also be established as part of the reforms. The government agenda, which includes a comprehensive list of reforms for all fields needed, also aims to make improvements in healthcare to provide enhanced quality service for citizens.

As increasing the minimum wage to 1300 TL is listed as a priority on the government agenda, reforms in the economy are amongst the significant reforms where the government aims to begin the "Istanbul International Finance Centre (IFM) Primary Transitional Program." Through the improvements, the government aims to have Turkey listed amongst the first 30 countries in the financial development index, while having Istanbul listed amongst the world's top 25 global finance centers. In the framework of financial discipline, the public procurement system will be reformed under the EU's directives.

Moreover, reforms in energy security will be made, where the "Primary Transitional Program on Creating Energy Dependent on Local Resources" will be established in the new term. The program aims to increase local energy production with efforts to decrease dependency on foreign resources. Additionally, the "Primary Transitional Program on Developing Energy Efficiency" will also be set up to decrease carbon emissions while increasing competition strength. With reforms in transportation, Turkish government aims to rank amongst the first 15 countries in the Logistic Performance Index by creating a Logistic Coordination Committee which will increase coordination amongst all organizations.

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