Turkey is getting ready to make the presidential system more efficient and overcome the deficiencies it faces with a series of reforms as a report is being prepared, determining the needs of the system that emerged during the one and a half years since the running of the system.
The report full of evaluations and recommendations to better the system has been prepared by a committee headed by Deputy President Fuat Oktay and was recently presented to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
According to the report, the biggest problem that occurred during the implementation of the system for more than a year was the failure of reducing the bureaucracy in state business. The report states that the reason behind this failure, which was actually one of the major aims and promises of the presidential system, is the continuation of old habits. Determined to fulfill its promise in the upcoming period, the system is expected to handle the issue with fewer documents and signatures, which eventually will accelerate the decision-making process as well as the efficiency. It was revealed in the report that currently, in some institutions, some tasks that could be handled with two or three signatures currently require 10 separate signatures for no reason. Within this scope, the distribution of tasks within the ministries will be redetermined.
Taking months to prepare, the report was created after hearing the complaints and recommendations of deputies, bureaucrats of all the state institutions and the nongovernmental organizations.
The report suggests preparing a piece for the ministries that will present the standards that will be implemented to make the system more efficient. The report also prepared separate subreports specific to each ministry having problems with the system. These reports are also expected to be delivered to the related ministries in the upcoming period with a demand to overcome the deficiencies.
The report also suggests deputy ministers determine job definitions and become the last decision-making mechanisms before the ministers themselves. In order to strengthen the bonds of the ministers with the deputies and Parliament itself, on the other hand, the report suggested that "guard ministers" practices be implemented.
Turkish voters narrowly endorsed an executive presidency in the April 16, 2017 referendum with 51.4% of the vote. The official transition to the new system took place when Erdoğan took the oath as president in Parliament after the June 24, 2018 election. After the March 31 local polls, opposition parties called for a reevaluation of the executive presidential system.
Although it was a new system for the country and there was ambiguity among the people regarding how it would function, the government has dedicated this whole year to the explanation of the benefits of the system and became quite successful in doing so. Still, as the system begins to settle, some reforms are needed to make it function more efficiently.
The Turkish presidency took up the issue and urged the State Supervisory Council to inspect state institutions and determine what kind of reforms are needed.