The Daily Beast reports: Is NATO ally Turkey on track to become a country under one-man rule?
With parliamentary elections scheduled for June 7, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to cement his all-powerful role in Turkish politics by sending his son-in-law to parliament. Berat Albayrak, 42, a former executive turned newspaper columnist — who is married to Erdogan’s older daughter, Esra — is running for a seat for Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul. Some media reports suggest Albayrak could be promoted to a ministerial post after the vote.
Other Erdogan confidants on the AKP ticket, which was published this past week, include Mucahit Arslan, an adviser, Aydin Unal, a former speechwriter, and Ali Ozkaya, Erdogan’s lawyer.
Although the constitution says the president has to be above politics, Erdogan, who was elected president last August, continues to control the ruling party and to direct the government of his successor as prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu. Erdogan has chaired two cabinet meetings as president this year. The president has also openly campaigned for the AKP ahead of the June elections. In a speech on Wednesday, he accused opposition parties and media of supporting terrorism.
Erdogan, 61, aims for a big win for the APK in June to push through constitutional changes to change Turkey’s system of government, moving it from a parliamentary to a presidential one — with himself at the top, of course. He says he wants 400 out of 550 seats in the new parliament filled with deputies who support the switch to the presidential system. [Continue reading…]