Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decisive 53% victory in Sunday’s presidential election is expected to be officially confirmed by electoral authorities today. The result comes with sweeping new executive powers that transform Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system.
The changes abolish the office of the prime minister, give the president the ability to issue decrees, decide the budget, appoint public officials and control the military and police and diminish the power of the legislature, in which Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party holds a majority.
As a result, expect a strengthened Erdogan to enhance cooperation between Ankara and a similarly authoritarian Moscow—especially in Syria. While Turkey doesn’t back the Assad regime, Erdogan has been more interested in crushing Syria’s Kurdish forces. With substantial energy projects piling up between the two countries, Erdogan could continue to soften his opposition towards Assad, especially if Moscow pushes the regime in Damascus to crackdown on Kurdish forces in the north.
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John is a Senior Analyst with an interest in Indo-Pacific geopolitics. Master of International Relations (Australian National University) graduate with study focus on the Indo-Pacific. Qualified lawyer (University of Auckland, NZ) with experience in post-colonial Pacific & NZ legal systems.