Erdoğan's arbitrary appointments wreak havoc in Turkish bureaucracy

President Erdoğan's appointments of his allies to state official positions have wreaked havoc in Turkish bureaucracy over the years, the daily Birgün reported on Sep. 15.

Duvar English

Bureaucracy in Turkey has come to the brink of collapse as a result of the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) practice of appointing allies to state positions they are not qualified to carry, the daily Birgün reported on Sep. 15. 

Bureaucrats, ministers and state officials appointed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself have resigned from their posts after corruption claims about them surfaced, and those who didn't resign were removed by official decrees. 

The most recent example of the inconsistency in state offices was staged at the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) when the former chair Ali İhsan Uygun was replaced by Abdülkerim Murat Atik on Sep. 4. 

Atik resigned from his post a mere 10 days after his appointment when it was revealed that he had served as the chairman of Sun Group which received a 40-million-Euro tender from TCDD recently. Atik was also revealed to have been a follower of Islamic cult leader Adnan Oktar who was sentenced to hundreds of years in prison.

Although the TCDD became an extreme example of the turbulence AKP creates in state offices by changing three directors in just 10 days, the pattern is observable in dozens of other offices across the government.

Central Bank Governor Murat Uysal was replaced by AKP member Naci Ağbal for disagreeing with the president on how to manage interest rates and inflation.

Ağbal was only able to hold onto his post for four months and was replaced by former AKP deputy Şahap Kavcıoğlu after it became clear that he wouldn't fall in line with the president's plans for fiscal policy. 

Appointed as deputy chair to the Social Security Institution (SGK), İsmail Yılmaz was dismissed from his post after 20 months subsequent to launching a corruption investigation. 

Appointed as rector of Mardin Artuklu University by President Erdoğan himself, Prof. Ahmet Ağırakça was replaced after he required academics to wear turbans instead of caps and called for sharia law to be implemented. 

The year 2018 observed 471 local officials re-assigned via presidential decrees, including governors and district governors, followed by another 403 re-assigned in 2019. 

The year 2020 observed the re-appointment of 427 other local officials, while the number spiked to 624 in 2021, including members of law enforcement.  

Five ministers from the 2018 cabinet have also left their posts prematurely: Erdoğan's son-in-law and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak resigned on Instagram and disappeared from the public eye in November 2020, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan resigned after it was revealed that she handed out tenders to her own corporation, while Education Minister Ziya Selçuk, Family Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk and Transport Minister Mehmet Cahit Turhan all resigned after controversy over their conduct.