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President Erdoğan prepares for the post-election period: Removing the state bureaucracy

With the new executive presidency system, the state bureaucracy will also change in the new period. The duties and power of authorities such as Undersecretariats, General Directorates, Department Heads, Branch Directorates will be passed to the Deputy Ministers in all ministries. The adaptation to the new system will in large be made with the Presidential decrees. The vice presidents will be considered the highest-ranking bureaucrats.

Cengiz Aldemir reports from Turkey.

Whilst there are only a few days to the presidential and parliamentary elections, the words and promises of politicians still continue to echo from the rally squares, and the changes to be made in the state bureaucracy after the elections are being talked about behind the doors in Ankara. The President and the Justice and Development Party Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan believes that he will win the elections and is getting prepared first to remove the government bureaucracy. In the new system, the number of some ministries will be reduced, the undersecretariats will be removed and the Deputy Ministers will be assigned duties.

The Justice and Development Party has begun its internal work in regard to the restructuring of the public administration, which is seen as the most comprehensive integration approach put forth by the Presidential Government System, and the ending of the “bureaucratic oligarchy”.

According to the latest information, Erdoğan will move undersecretaries of some ministers to the deputy minister positions in the new period.

It is claimed that work is in progress to ensure a two- or three-fold increase in the number of deputy ministers in all ministries.


Rumour has it that it is almost seen as certain that Eyüp Gümüş, the current Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Yusuf Tekin, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education, and Mehmet Hadi Tunç, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, will be moved up to the deputy minister posts.

After the Presidential Government System being put in practice, all preparations for the new structure of the state, especially that of the public administration, are still going on. Immediately after the elections, the adaptation to the new system will largely be made with the presidential decrees. All the ministry organisations designed according to the parliamentary system will be brought in line with the Presidential Government System. First of all, the laws related to the current organisational structure will be repealed, and soon after that a new structure will be established with decrees.


President Erdoğan is preparing to remove “the bureaucratic oligarchy” and “the obese state”, which he emphasises frequently. The removal of all staff, including ones at the ‘General Directorate, Department Head, Branch Directorate’ positions and ‘assistants’ of these as well as those at the status of ‘Undersecretariat’, is being discussed. Sources in connection with the party express that with the abolition of the status ‘Assistant’ particularly in the state administration, more than 50 staff will be vacated in each ministry.


With the abolishing of the status, Prime Ministry Undersecretariat, the highest structure of bureaucracy in public administration, the duties of this office are planned to be carried out through the Presidential Secretariat General or by one of the Vice Presidents. However, as a second formula, the distribution of duties among three vice presidents as the highest ranking bureaucrats is being considered in the fields of ‘Defense-Security’, ‘Public administration’ and ‘Economy’.


According to the new regulations, the number of undersecretaries, assistant undersecretaries, general directors and department heads in all ministries will reach a maximum of three. The duties of these authorities will be carried out through the deputy ministers. Sources with close links to the party allege that the US has a similar structure to this and that all these and options alike are being examined.

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