Turkish people holds flags of Turkey and a picture of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Aug. 10 in Istanbul. (Bulent Kilic / AFP)
ANKARA, TURKEY — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the country’s first popularly elected president on Aug. 10, garnering 52 percent of the national vote. He needed more than 50 percent for an outright victory, avoiding a second round.
Before the election, Erdogan said he wanted to strengthen Turkey’s largely ceremonial presidency.
Erdogan had been prime minister since 2003 and was barred from standing for another term.
Analysts widely expect major actors in Turkish politics will be reshuffled in the next few months, but defense and political analysts say Erdogan’s “almost one-man show” in procurement matters will likely remain.
In contrast with the post of prime minister, the presidency has been largely a ceremonial position. Erdogan already has said he would push for an executive-style presidency.
Erdogan would likely maximize the office’s existing powers while controlling the government, possibly to be run by one of his political allies.
In a July 8 speech, Erdogan said “every matter in the country, including infrastructure or other projects, would be the president’s job.”
Analysts say it would not matter much who the prime minister would be as long as the all-powerful Erdogan runs the show at the Presidential Palace in Ankara.