Turkey: Power and Nepotism

On June 24, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was re-elected as the President of Turkey. On Monday, he was sworn in for his second term as head of state.

He has taken greater powers than any national leader did before, and one of his first deeds was to choose his governement, seeing him give one of the key roles, Finance, to his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak. Albayrak attends crucial meetings and his influence on the President is so high that he is seen as unofficial prime inister. Before being the Head of Finance, he was Minister of Energy from 2015 and worked as an occassional diplomat, notably with Israel.

This is not the first case of nepotism in Turkey. In March 2018, the government might have forced Aydin Dogan, foundator of the first mediatic group Dogan Holding to be sold to Erdogan Demirören, a friend of the Turkish President.

In July 2016, soldiers and rebel officers tried to overthrow Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Concerned, Erdogan decided to cleanse administrations, police and army, leading to the firing of more than 10.000 persons. But it did not end there, as, last Sunday, he annouced a new purge about 18.000 persons.

Not only did he decide to "clean" the public sectors, he also changed the constitution. In the new system, there is no Prime Minister anymore and all executive powers are given to the President, a president who is to appoint 13 members of the Judges and Porsecutor Council.

"At the end of the day, the most important powers will be in the hands of Erdogan, it will become an 'institutionalized autocracy,'" says Marc Pierini, former Ambassador of the EU in Turkey (2006-2011).

Among the leaders who attended last Monday's swearing-in ceremony, were Nicolas Maduro, Dmitri Medvedev and Viktor Orban. By coincidence, all these men are active participants in the club of countries often accused of autocracy.

The first consequences have affected the currency: because Erdogan is expected to pressure the central Bank, the Turkish Lira fell by 3.5% Monday evening.


By Antoine Dewaest

Image source: AFP / OZAN KOSE The president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son-in-law Berat Albayrak

11 July 2018 09:01