Turkey has finally decided one of the most important elements of its move to semi-presidentialism. In late January, the Law on Presidential Elections was passed. This law gives some substance to the 2007 constitutional reform that formally changed Turkey to a semi-presidential regime.
The question at stake was how long is the term of the incumbent president Abdullah Gül. In 2007 parliament elected him for a seven-year term. However, just a couple of months after his election, the constitution was amended to make provision for a directly elected president who served for a maximum of two five-year terms. So, when was the next presidential election due, 2014 or 2012?
According to Hürriyet Daily News, the new law confirms that President Gül’s term ends in 2014. In other words, consistent with the situation in other places, notably France, the change in the term is not being applied retrospectively.