Turkish President Intends to Chair Meetings of Cabinet in 2015Southeast Europe | December 12, 2014, Friday // 10:03| views
Turkish President Recep Erdogan. Photo: EPA
Turkish President Recep Erdogan will begin chairing the meetings of the government next year.
This was announced by one of Erdogan's senior advisers and Izmir member of parliament Binali Yildirim in an interview for the private NTV news station on Thursday.
Yildirim, who is a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and former Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication, justified Erdogan's decision with the vast number of people that have voted for him at the presidential election – 52 %.
Yildirim's comments came as a response to the criticism of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) which had protested Erdogan's participation in the debate concerning the possible inclusion of Ottoman language classes in the curriculum of Turkish high schools.
Erdogan's adviser also commented the recent presidential decree that changes the institutional structure of the presidential office.
This move was considered as a step towards establishing a shadow Cabinet that is to monitor the Cabinet of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
According to Yildirim, this decision will not constitute a conflict between the authorities of the president and prime minister, as the Constitution clearly outlines all the powers of the president.
Since his election as President in August, Erdogan has on numerous occasions expressed his desire to chair the meetings of the government, arguing that this is a constitutional power granted to him, as provided in Article 104 of the Constitution.
Another presidential decree issued earlier this week provided for the increase of the number of directorate-generals in the presidential office from four to 13.
In addition to the already existing departments on administrative and financial affairs, institutional communication, information technologies and human resources, are added new ones in charge of homeland security, external relations, economy, defence, energy and social affairs.
Two days after the reorganisation of the presidential office Erdogan appointed Ambassador Ibrahim Kalin, who previously served as deputy secretary-general of the presidency, as his spokesperson.
The duties of the newly established position of spokesperson will include assessing the agenda, making statements on behalf of the president and in general improving communication with the public.
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