Seven new presidential decrees that will reorganize key state councils and bodies were published in the Official Gazette yesterday.
One of the new decrees will oversee the restructuring of Turkey's Supreme Military Council. It will meet at least once a year and convene under the vice president. The president may also convene the council when necessary, said the decree. Members of the council will include Turkey's vice president or vice presidents, the treasury and finance minister, and the education minister.
The council will convene with the participation of all members and those not able to attend will be required to inform the council's secretariat beforehand. The meetings of the council will remain confidential. If the council decides to release a statement regarding any specific issue, it will do so through the National Defense Ministry.
Turkey switched from the parliamentary system to a presidential one with a referendum on constitutional amendments on April 16, 2017. The government in Turkey will now be led by a president and the prime minister's position has been abolished.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was re-elected as Turkey's president on June 24. He announced the new Cabinet earlier this month.
Under the new system, the staff of the central organization of the presidency will be appointed by presidential decrees. The president may also hire advisers and chief advisers for consultancy and various other duties.
The president may also assign special representatives to international institutions and in foreign countries to carry out duties that necessitate expertise. In the case of the president's absence due to reasons such as illness or traveling abroad for official visits, the vice president will substitute for the president and execute his duties.
Under another new decree, the Turkish General Staff will be part of the National Defense Ministry. When he considers it necessary, the president will be able to receive information from the chief of staff and commanders-in-chief of the armed forces and directly communicate orders with them.
Turkish Land Forces Commander Gen. Yaşar Güler was appointed Chief of General Staff under a new presidential decree published in the Official Gazette on July 10. He took over the duties from the former Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, who was appointed the Minister of National Defense under the same decree. According to another of yesterday's decrees, Turkey's National Security Council will now meet once every two months as summoned by the president and if the president is unable to attend, he or she will be represented by the vice president.
Another new decree was regarding the appointment of rectors in six public universities. The rectors will be appointed by the president from among those who have worked as a professor for at least three years.
The latest appointments were as follows: Dokuz Eylül University - Fatma Seniha Nükhet Hotar, Erzincan Binali Yıldırım University - AkınLevent, Istanbul University/Cerrahpaşa - NuriAydın, Marmara University - Erol Özvar, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University - Hüseyin Çiçek and Sakarya University - Fatih Savaşan.
Meanwhile, three bodies; the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), and the Foundations Directorate General will now fall under the Culture and Tourism Ministry while the Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) will be under the Interior Ministry.
International agreements with foreign countries and international organizations will be approved by the decision of the president. In relation to the agreements with NATO, in line with its agreement approved in Feb. 18, 1952, the president will directly approve the bilateral or multilateral agreements with the alliance, which will not bring changes to the Turkish laws.
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