Turkey’s June 24 elections — which were held on an uneven playing field under a state of emergency and with few checks and balances in place — marked the country’s transition to a new model of governance that concentrates power in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The new system, narrowly approved in a referendum last year, gave the president extraordinary executive and legislative powers as well as control over the judiciary. With parliament largely disabled, Erdogan began to issue decrees as soon as he started his new term July 9. The far-reaching decrees took effect directly with their publication in the Official Gazette, with no one in the 600-seat parliament aware of their content. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) is readying to lift the two-year state of emergency, but is planning legal amendments that would effectively make the emergency rule permanent.