Authors: Assoc.Prof. Ece Karadogan Doruk and Assoc.Prof. Veli Polat
The presidency has emerged as an important determiner in the Turkish political structure particularly given the privileges extended by the 1982 Constitution. This important political focal point has gained power especially due to its weight in the legislative process. The opening speeches delivered by presidents during the beginning of each legislative year as one of the most important actors of the political system enable the understanding of the relationship between the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the Government and the Presidency. The presidents revealing their thoughts on the national problems in their opening speeches provide a guiding evaluation through the proposals they present. The legislative year opening speeches merit attention both rhetorically and for the understanding of the relationship of top state bodies. The presidents’ differences in their personal attributes, approaches, attitudes are worth analyzing within the framework of the speeches. This paper examines the differences between the former President Süleyman Demirel, who is one of the most important names of Turkish politics and the current president Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who draws attention with his legal identity, within the specific framework of their opening speeches at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, together with the open and implicit messages they submit on the existing political, economic and social situation. The main themes of the speeches will be analyzed with an eclectic approach using the emphasis analysis methods. The political profiles of the message sources will be evaluated and how they are reflected on the messages will be analyzed, and two different leader characters will be introduced and their main attributes determined in the light of these speeches.
Keywords: President, Political Leaders’ Attributions, Political Message, Political Message, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Political Speech