2019 is the year Turkey is going to become a Presidency, especially if Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is elected.
Some of the candidates might promise going back to the parliamentary system, which will be ironic, but will appeal to the hearts and minds of some voters.
Mr Erdoğan, on the other hand, is quite decisive and even sure that he will be elected. He is so sure he will be the first President of Turkey, he has even established a new team that would help Turkey transform into a Presidential System. The team according to Hurriyet newspaper consists of 5 people: Efkan Ala, Erol Kaya, Ahmet Sorgun, Mustafa Elitaş and Cevdet Yılmaz . Cevdet Yılmaz and Mustafa Elitaş are no surprises. They are renowned names, active in the administration of AK Party.
The names indicate that the priority for Mr Erdoğan in the transition period will be economy. Both Cevdet Yılmaz and Elitaş are in the steering wheels of Turkish economy, currently. Erol Kaya is an economist too. It is not hard to guess that probably this new team will be in charge of finding necessary resources to keep the system going and pumping “energy” to the new system.
Ahmet Sorgun on the other hand is a lawyer, currently in the central committee. The flash name among five is, however, Efkan Ala. Ala used to be the interior minister before 15 July coup attempt. Ala was immediately substituted with Süleyman Soylu after the coup attempt. This was perceived as a punishment for Ala. Before the incident Ala was one of the favorites of Erdoğan. Erdoğan favoured Ala so much, that even he changed the pronunciation of his surname, rather than with a thick “a” Erdoğan started pronouncing Ala, with a soft “â”; so that his surname would mean “very good”. What changed Erdoğan’s attitude, allegedly, was the absence of Mr Ala during the night of the coup attempt. Erdoğan tried to reach Ala that night but was unsuccessful. Later Ala’s explanation was that he was flying from Erzurum to Ankara, which apparently did not satisfy Erdoğan. Another reason for Ala’s replacement was the police organization being full of FETÖ members. Since police operates under Ministry of interior, Ala was held at least partly responsible for that.
After being replaced by Süleyman Soylu, Efkan Ala kept a low profile. He did not talk much, was not seen around often. But he kept his loyalty towards Erdoğan, did not lose faith. So now it seems, Ala is being brought back into the picture with this new post.
The team of five will be preparing documents that will be evaluated by Erdoğan. They will be bringing their ideas to the President who will, as usual, have the final say.
It is going to be useful to keep in mind that those five will be the names to have access to Erdoğan.