HDP Mersin Member of Parliament Ertuğrul Kürkçü, at a press meeting he held at Parliament today, commented on President Erdoğan’s decision to head the Cabinet at its meeting on January 19: “This meeting will be against procedure, and even against the spirit of the 1982 Constitution, it displays a vulgar use of authority which even junta leader Kenan Evren did not take the liberty to.”
Ertuğrul Kürkçü accepted the signatures gathered in the campaign titled “A Minimum Wage for a Humane Life” campaign organized by Sosyalist Yeniden Kuruluş Partisi [SYKP; the Socialist Party of Refoundation] from the party’s co-chair Nejla Kurul in order to deliver them to the Speaker’s Office.
Kürkçü later answered questions from the press, and said the following on the announcement that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would chair the Cabinet on January 19:
“This meeting is merely a spectacle to use the current Constitution as a shield for Erdoğan’s ambitions. It is a meeting organized to show who is more powerful and in charge, to emphasise the fact that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is merely a shadow prime minister, and that it is Erdoğan who calls all the shots. Since the Constitution still states that the President of the Republic cannot have any political party affiliation, this means that Erdoğan wants to overrule the position of the President as arbitrator as designated by the 1982 Constitution, and impose a different model of an all-powerful president. This meeting will be against procedure, and even against the spirit of the 1982 Constitution, it displays a vulgar use of authority, which even junta leader Kenan Evren did not take the liberty to. It is a sign of the conceit and arrogance of the Ak Saray, the newly built Presidential Palace. This meeting is being held for the photo opportunity, to pose before cameras. We reject this attempt at organizing an opening for a Presidency regime.”
Özal and Demirel previous Presidents to head Cabinet meetings
In the history of the Republic of Turkey, two other Presidents have headed Cabinet meetings. The 8th President of the Republic Turgut Özal chaired 6 Cabinet meetings, while 9th President Süleyman Demirel chaired a single Cabinet meeting upon the invitation of Prime Minister Ecevit.