With 56 guardeners, 28 chauffeurs, 16 waiters, 13 cooks a barber and a shoeshine boy that go with the job it would seem that a flock of candidates would be running for Turkey's presidency.

But with presidential elections due here next Saturday, there is not a single candidate for what should be the most prestigious position in the land.

There are at least a dozen politicians who normally would love the job.But Turkey is now in the midst of the most severe social and economic crisis of its history and the next president's tasks could prove far more demanding than in the past.

Apart from over 100 percent inflation and 20 percent unemployment, the country is plagued by unrest and terrorism that has claimed 900 lives in the past four months. Unrest and anarchy have reached such proportions that a Turkish general recently asserted that "an undeclared civil war" was under way in the country.

Turkey's presidency is not merely an honorific post. The president, who is elected by the parliament, is both head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces. His most important job is the act as broker between the military chiefs and the elected politicians.

Under current conditions, the next president will have to keep in check the increasingly restless military commanders and the bickering politicians. The Turkish military intervened in politics in 1960 and 1971 and they issued a stiff warning to politicians earlier this year to halt partisan bickering and restore order.

The president must be acceptable to both the military and politicians. Five of Turkey's six presidents have been former generals or admirals. The only civilian, Celal Bayar, was toppled by the military in 1960 and he narrowly escaped execution.

The outgoing president, Fahri Koruturk, has started a round of farewell parties and reportedly is determined to quit -- whether his post is filled or not -- when his seven-year term expires April 6.

If a new president has not been elected by the time Kortuturk's term expires, the speaker of the Senate becomes acting president. The current speaker is Ihsan Sabri Caglayangil, a former foreign minister and political ally of Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel. Some observers say Demirel engineered Caglayangil's election to the speaker's job so he would have a close friend as acting president in the eventuality that the presidential elections drag on.

Turkish presidents are elected by secret parliamentary ballots. None of the country's political parties can command the required majority -- two-thirds on the first two ballots and an absolute majority after that -- to elect its candidate.

Turkish politicians have been remarkably silent on the subject despite the approaching election date. Under the Turkish constitution, the prime minister and his Cabinet run the country. But ever since Ataturk, the general who founded the republic on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire in 1923, presidents have enjoyed powers notstipulated in the charter.

Cynics here predict that another general will be the next president, repeating the old joke that the highest rank in the Turkish Army in the presidency.