New Standard in Turkey: Presidential Decree & President’s Shadow Cabinet

With the constitution written during military rule in Turkey in 1982, the president of the republic -by then top general- was awarded the trust to declare Presidential Decrees to run duties such as secretarial institutionalization, organization, governance, working principles, appointment of officers. First popularly elected president of Turkey, Erdoğan has used this trust to change a few things regarding the presidential institution by a presidential decree.

In the previous years when Erdoğan was the prime minister, Turkish electorate was getting used to “law decree” terminology, which does not require the parliamentary debate or even vote but can be declared just by the approval of the cabinet. Presidential Decree on the other hand does not even require the approval of cabinet ministers, moreover it is out of the reach of judicial controls, which makes the decree invincible. Having been created with an invincible presidential decree, the new cabinet has high chances of being “above the law” with its untouchable qualities, bypassing the constitutional and judicial checks on lawfulness.

Erdoğan’s Shadow Cabinet

The decree that establishes a shadow cabinet is declared through a secret order, which means the official papers do not refer to it. Currently presidential organization puts four bodies to be under president’s responsibilities; financial and economic affairs, institutional communications, informatics technologies, human resources. These directorates are directly answering to the President and will take guidance from the office.

With the new decree, the number of these institutions have been updated to 13 including such directorates as:

  • National Security Directorate
  • Foreign Affairs Directorate
  • Economy Directorate
  • Defense Directorate
  • Energy Directorate
  • Social Affairs Directorate
  • Investment Tracking Directorate
  • Communications Central Directorate



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