Safe or stuffed? Who falls foul of AK’s three term rule

2015 general election

If you look at article 132 of the by-laws that govern Turkey’s ruling AK Party, you will find a clause that is sensible and democratic. It imposes a strict three term limit on MPs and mayors, presumably to ensure youth and vigour and prevent cults of personality among the party’s ranks.

The article reads:

Article 132: Repeat candidacy of elected party candidates

Mayors and members of parliament who become a candidate from an AK Party list and are subsequently elected can be a candidate for a maximum three terms.

But this was written when the party was established, before its 2002 election victory that surprised everyone, including the founders, and well before the 2007 and 2011 elections, where the victories were even greater.

Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has come to adopt a looser interpretation of article 132. The three term limit remains, he says, but it’s perfectly possible to take a break for one term and then return. It is also possible for third term MPs to go off and spend a term as mayor of Istanbul, for example, and then return to parliament afterwards.

Another flaw with the article is that the big man himself is affected by it. The prime minister has repeatedly declared he will not serve a fourth term; rather than modify his own party’s by-laws, he would rather change the constitution to make himself a French-style president with executive powers.

Mr Erdoğan’s ill-disguised ambitions do a pretty good job of disguising the effect of the three-term rule on the rest of his cabinet, however. 16 ministers – that’s nearly two-thirds of his cabinet – will be unable to stand as MPs at the next general election, which under current rules is due for 2015.

Rumours abound on who, particularly among the cabinet’s baby boomers, will retire and who will conveniently find work leading a largish council for three or four years. We’ll consider some of those in another entry; for now, here is our guide to who’s stuffed and who’s safe.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Prime Minister
Elected 9 March 2003
STUFFED

Bülent Arınç

Deputy PM
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Beşir Atalay

Deputy PM
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Ali Babacan

Deputy PM
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Bekir Bozdağ

Deputy PM
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Ahmet Davutoğlu

Foreign affairs
Elected 12 June 2011
SAFE

Muammer Güler

Interior affairs
Elected 12 June 2011
SAFE

Sadullah Ergin

Justice
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Mehmet Şimşek

Finance
Elected 22 July 2007
SAFE

Mehmet Müezzinoğlu

Health
Elected 22 July 2007
SAFE

İsmet Yılmaz

Defence
Elected 12 June 2011
SAFE

Nabi Avcı

Education
Elected 12 June 2011
SAFE

Egemen Bağış

European Union affairs
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Zafer Çağlayan

Economy
Elected 22 July 2007
SAFE

Binali Yıldırım

Transport, communications
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Mehmet Mehdi Eker

Food and agriculture
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Erdoğan Bayraktar

Environment and cities
Elected 12 June 2011
SAFE

Veysel Eroğlu

Forests and water
Elected 12 June 2011
SAFE

Cevdet Yılmaz

Development
Elected 22 July 2007
SAFE

Taner Yıldız

Energy, natural resources
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Nihat Ergün

Science and industry
Elected 3 November 2002

STUFFED

Faruk Çelik

Work, social security
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Ömer Çelik

Culture and tourism
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Fatma Şahin

Family and social policies
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Suat Kılıç

Youth and sport
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

Hayati Yazıcı

Customs and trade
Elected 3 November 2002
STUFFED

 

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Last modified: Sunday 17 November 2013

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