Prime Minister of Turkey

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Başbakanı) was the head of government of the Republic of Turkey from 1920 to 2018, who led a political coalition in the Turkish Parliament and presided over the cabinet. Throughout the political history of Turkey, functions and powers of the post had changed occasionally.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Başbakanı  (Turkish)
Former Seal of the Prime Minister
İsmet İnönü, First Prime Minister of the Republic
Government of Turkey
StatusHead of Government
Member ofCabinet of Turkey
National Security Council
Reports toThe Parliament
ResidencePrime Ministry Building
(1925-1937)
Prime Ministry Central Building
(1937-2014)
Çankaya Mansion
(2014-2018)
AppointerThe President
In accordance with voting in the Grand National Assembly
Term length5 years (same as the term of Grand National Assembly)
While commanding the majority in the parliament. No term limits are imposed on the office.
Constituting instrumentAnayasa
PrecursorGrand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
Inaugural holderMustafa Kemal Atatürk (Ankara Government)
İsmet İnönü (Republic)
Formation3 May 1920 (Ankara Government)
1 November 1923 (Republic)
Final holderBinali Yıldırım
Abolished9 July 2018
SuccessionVice President of Turkey
DeputyDeputy Prime Minister
Websitewww.basbakanlik.gov.tr

Prior to its dissolution as a result of the 2017 Constitutional Referendum, Prime Minister was generally the dominant figure in Turkish politics, outweighing the President.

Premiership in the Ottoman Era

In the Ottoman Empire, the prime minister of the Ottoman sultan held the title of Grand Vizier (Turkish: Sadrazam). After the Tanzimat period in the 19th century, the grand viziers came to assume a role more like that of the prime ministers of contemporary Western European monarchies. Later, with the Ottoman constitution of 1876, a parliament was established to oversee the prime minister, and the prime minister formed a cabinet. With the constitutional amendments that took place during the Second Constitutional Era, the prime minister was made answerable to the parliament rather than the sultan.

Premiership in the Government of the Grand National Assembly

After the establishment of the Grand National Assembly in Ankara by the Turkish National Movement, the 1st Parliament instituted a new government called "The Cabinet of the Executive Ministers" (Turkish: İcra Vekilleri Heyeti). The post was then held by the Speaker of the Parliament, who presided over the cabinet ex-officio.

Premiership in the Republic

Single-party period (1923–1946)

Following the declaration of the republic, the existing constitution of 1921 was amended, conferring the executive authority and the privilege to oversee governmental affairs to the Prime Minister, who was to be appointed by the President of the Republic.

Although the Presidency was established as a symbolic office with the President being unaccountable for his actions, Presidents Atatürk and İnönü had exercised executive authority as the leader of their party during the one-party period.

Multi-party period (1946–2018)

Prior to the general election held in 1950, the constitution was amended, disallowing the President-elect to remain the leader of their political party. These amendments resulted in the Prime Minister becoming the dominant figure in Turkish politics, sharply diminishing the role of the President.

After Prime Minister Adnan Menderes was ousted from power as a result of the 1960 Turkish coup d'état, the newly promulgated Constitution of 1961 reduced the powers of the government considerably, strengthening parliamentary supervision over the cabinet. These features of the constitution resulted in a fractured political system, causing many short-lived coalition governments to be formed until 1980.

In the aftermath of the 1980 Turkish coup d'etat, Constitution of 1982 (still in use) was implemented. Even though the Constitution of 1982 was quite similar to its predecessor, there were new measures taken to avoid the formation of short-lived coalition governments. These measures included the introduction of 10% electoral threshold, unicameral parliamentary structure, and enforced executive powers. Along with broad executive powers being vested in the post of the Prime Minister, the realm of authority of the cabinet ministries (with the exclusion of the Prime Ministry) was drastically reduced, placing the ministers under the direct supervision of the prime minister.

Later on, numerous amendments were made on the constitution, with the ones of paramount importance being the 2007, 2010, and 2017. Some of the changes approved by public vote were highly controversial.

According to some, the direct election of the President for the first time in 2014 resulted in a de facto transition into a semi-presidential system, bringing an end to the Prime Minister's dominant authority in Turkish politics. [1]

Following the general elections in 2018, constitutional amendments approved in the 2017 referendum officially took effect, marking the end of 98 years of parliamentary governance in Turkey.

Seal of the Prime Minister, in use between 2015 until the office was abolished in 2018.[2]

Living former prime ministers

Prime Minister Start Tenure of office
Tansu Çiller (1946-05-24) May 24, 1946 1993–1996
Abdullah Gül (1950-10-29) October 29, 1950 2002–2003
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (1954-02-26) February 26, 1954 2003–2014
Ahmet Davutoğlu (1959-02-26) February 26, 1959 2014–2016
Binali Yıldırım (1955-12-20) December 20, 1955 2016–2018

Longest track records

Prime Minister İsmet İnönü in 1964
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a state visit to the United States.
NameNumber of daysRemarks
İsmet İnönü1 year, 20 days +
12 years, 205 days +
3 years, 93 days = 16 years and 318 days
The first two periods were
in the single-party period;
formed 10 cabinets.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan11 years, 167 daysFormed 3 cabinets.
Süleyman Demirel5 years, 150 days +
2 years, 82 days +
168 days +
305 days +
1 year, 177 days = 10 years and 152 days
Formed 7 cabinets.
Adnan Menderes10 years, 5 daysFormed 5 cabinets.

Executed by hanging.
Turgut Özal5 years, 322 daysFormed 2 cabinets.
Bülent Ecevit296 days +
20 days +
1 year, 311 days +
3 years, 311 days = 5 years and 208 days
Formed 5 cabinets.

Timeline

Recep Tayyip ErdoğanMustafa Kemal Atatürk

See also

  • Air transports of heads of state and government
  • Official state car
  • List of prime ministers of Turkey
  • President of Turkey
    • List of presidents of Turkey
  • Vice President of Turkey
  • Constitution of Turkey

References

  1. Karagöz, Serdar (2014-04-14). "De facto semi-presidential system and Erdoğan". Daily Sabah. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  2. "Başbakanlık logosu değişti (Başbakanlığın yeni logosu)". www.hurriyet.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-07-12.
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