Turkey's President Takes a Victory Lap
By November 2019, Turkey will hold one of its most consequential elections: a vote to choose its first executive president. Up until 2014, Turkey's parliament appointed the country's presidents, who served largely in an emeritus capacity as paternalistic figures representing the integrity of the state. The system changed with a series of constitutional amendments spearheaded by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that allowed for direct elections in the future. Erdogan then succeeded President Abdullah Gul to become Turkey's first popularly elected president in August 2014. At the time of his election, constitutional scholars highlighted concerns that having a popularly elected prime minister and a popularly elected president could give rise to an executive duality. If both the head of the constitutionally defined executive — the prime minister — and the head of state are popularly elected, who runs Turkey?
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