The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has ramped up its efforts to restructure public administrations as part of the adjustment laws with the aim of preventing bureaucratic oligarchy and sluggishness.The ongoing preparations for the presidential governing system are expected to be ready prior to the 2019 elections. As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been pointing to the issue of "bureaucratic sluggishness and oligarchy," restructuring public administrations will be one of the main focuses in the adjustment laws. The president has stressed that the government and its bureaucracy should be able to function efficiently and added that the multi-headed bureaucracy needs to be restructured.
According to AK Party sources, with the removal of "aide" posts, over 50 positions in each ministry will be vacant, including undersecretaries, department heads, general directorates and their aides. The "obese" structure of the bureaucracy is thought to be slowing down the working process. The performance of the bureaucrats, to be appointed by presidential decree, will be a determinant factor in continuing their post.
In the presidential governing system with the removal of the undersecretariat of the Prime Ministry, the presidential general secretary or one of the presidential aides will take on the responsibilities of that post. Another formula being discussed involves three presidential aides serving as top bureaucrats in the fields of "defense-security," "public administration," and "economy."
As the institution of the Prime Ministry will be removed with the new governing system, the duties of this institution will be transferred to the presidency. It has been discussed that the duties might be shared by some offices to be formed within the presidency in a system similar to that of the White House. The decisions and opinions of these specialized offices, such as the office for agriculture and the office for economy, would be expected to play significant roles in shaping government policies. Officials from the AK Party have stressed that opposition parties should join the efforts of making the required changes for the presidential governing system, which were approved in the April 16 referendum. The adjustment laws will be presented to the assembly when finished.
10 new party offices to open abroad
Meanwhile, the party will open 10 representative offices abroad amid aims to explain party politics and forge closer relations with Turkish diaspora.
During the AK Party's latest Central Executive Committee and Central Decision Board (MKYK) meetings, which were led by AK Party Chairman and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the representative offices abroad were also discussed. The AK Party deputy chairman in charge of foreign affairs, Mehdi Eker, said the new "representative" offices would be based in the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Germany, France, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia.
"The AK Party does not have a vision exclusively based on Turkey's domestic politics. It has a vision about the world, humanity and civilization," Eker told Anadolu Agency (AA). "It's therefore quite natural that such a party has offices in the world's important centers as the party's legal contact points," he added, noting that the opening of the new offices was instructed by President Erdoğan.
The party has been working on opening more than 30 new representative offices in the U.S., European countries, the Turkic Republics, Africa and the Balkans. During the MKYK meeting, it was said that in the first phase of these efforts, missions will open in 10 locations and that the relevant work regarding these are complete. It was also stated that in some places, recruitment searches will commence.
The AK Party opened its first representative office in Brussels in 2015 and plans to open additional representative offices in the U.S. as well as in European countries. A second representative office is planned for Germany, which has a large population of Turkish nationals.
The offices are expected to be essential in enhancing relations between the AK Party and Turkish expatriates and will play an active role in preventing the promotion of Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ) campaigns against Turkey. The offices will be responsible for the organizations abroad.
Meanwhile, intraparty sources said the AK Party is currently working to determine the proper candidates to be assigned to represent the offices. Party officials plan to nominate people who have good reputations in the countries they will represent. They will also nominate people who can effectively convey Turkey's point of view accurately. The AK Party has gone to great lengths to prevent FETÖ-affiliated people from being nominated through infiltration.