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'Shadow cabinet' begins work at presidential palace.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- A 13-member "shadow government" established by President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an at his presidential palace with a confidential decree has begun working, according to a story in the Taraf daily on Thursday.

President Erdoy-an, who is trying to establish a de facto presidential system in the country, has taken the first step towards a presidential cabinet and has made changes in the organizational structure to the presidency with a presidential decree he signed on Tuesday. Since the decree was confidential, it was not published in the Official Gazette. With this decree, the number of presidencies at the presidential palace has been increased to 13 up from the previous four.

Previously, there were the administrative and financial affairs, corporate communication, information technologies and human resources presidencies at the presidential palace. Eight new presidencies have been added to these.

The new presidencies include the Domestic Security Presidency, whose main duty will be fight against the "parallel structure," a term used by Erdoy-an and his former party to refer to the faith-based Hizmet movement, and to monitor the settlement process with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The Foreign Affairs Presidency will be responsible for monitoring Turkish foreign policy and will work under ybrahim Kalyn, Erdoy-an's secretary-general. The Economy Presidency will monitor the situation of the Turkish economy and will prepare reports with the relevant secretary-general assistant and submit them to the president.

The Defense Presidency will be responsible for defense issues, defense tenders and military affairs. The Energy Presidency will work on oil and natural gas pipelines and their political aspects. It will also work on the issues of mining and alternative energy.

The Social Affairs Presidency will work on public affairs and enable people to have access to the president, while the Communications Center Presidency will be responsible for relations with the press.

The Investment Monitoring Unit will be responsible for monitoring investments, particularly those related to the construction of roads, bridges and airports and will present reports to the president.

In addition, moving forward the final approval for investments will be given by the presidency and not by the Prime Ministry, as it used to be. The Investment Monitoring Unit at the presidency will make the final decision for investments, a first in the history of the Turkish Republic.

When public agencies send requests for permission or authority to the Prime Ministry, a copy of the request is sent to the presidency.

The new system of approval was revealed thanks to phone calls made by the Prime Ministry to businessmen. Prime Ministry personnel had called businessmen in various parts of the country who were waiting for an approval for their pending investments and told them the final approval will be given by the presidency from then onwards. They told several businessmen that the president's office has not yet responded to their requests for approval.

Taraf, which based its report on information it received from businessmen and sources at the Prime Ministry, says a parallel system has been established between the investment unit at the Prime Ministry and the Investment Monitoring Unit at the presidential palace which enables the latter to have a copy of the approval requests made to the Prime Ministry.

When the necessary examinations are made by the presidency, an approval or rejection decision is made and the dossier is sent back to the Prime Ministry. Hence, it is President Erdoy-an who makes the final decision on investments.

It is claimed that former Transportation Minister Binali Yyldyrym heads the Investment Monitoring Unit at the presidency.

According to the Constitution and laws, the president's office does not have any authority with regards to the approval of the investments, and the system is thus said to be a de facto one. Yet, there are plans to increase the presidency's authorities with regards to the approval of investments following the general election of 2015. With an amendment to the relevant article of the Constitution, the system is expected to be made more extensive and the presidency to become more active in investments.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Dec 11, 2014
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