Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Erdogan to take oath as Turkey’s1st Executive President with vast powers

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves his seat to address members of parliament from his ruling party in Ankara Turkey Erdoğan sworn in as Turkish president with enhanced powers
Patty Aguilar | 11 July, 2018, 10:40

Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in again as Turkey's president on Monday, assuming sweeping powers he won in a referendum previous year and sealed in a hard-fought re-election victory two weeks ago.

The Turkish lira lost 3.5 percent in value on the news to trade at 4.73 lira to the dollar.

The decree also included the names of the newly appointed deputy president and ministers following President Erdoğan's announcement of the new Cabinet.

The new system, which dispenses with the office of prime minister, was agreed in a bitterly-fought 2017 referendum narrowly won by the "Yes" camp.

"We, as Turkey and as the Turkish people, are making a new start here today", he told the dignitaries and thousands of guests. "There is no stopping for us until we bring Turkey - which we saved from plotters, coupists and political and economic hitmen, street gangs and terrorist organisations - to among the top 10 economies in the world", he said. Erdogan took the oath of office at the Turkish Parliament headquarters at the Grand National Assembly chaired by Acting Parliament Speaker Durmus Yilmaz.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim now goes down in history as the 27th and final holder of the post in Turkey.

On the eve of Monday's inauguration authorities dismissed more than 18,000 state employees - a lot of them from the police and army - in what the government said would be the final decree under emergency rule imposed following a failed 2016 coup.

"We are embarking on this road by using this opportunity as best we can for a strong parliament, strong government and strong Turkey", he said.

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The introduction of the new presidential system marks the biggest overhaul of governance since the republic was established on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire almost a century ago.

After taking the oath, Erdogan plans to visit the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern, secular, Turkish Republic.

The event at parliament in the capital, Ankara, concludes the country's transition from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency, in line with the constitutional changes approved in a referendum a year ago. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy", former EU Ambassador to Turkey Marc Pierini said.

Erdogan would become both the head of state and government, with the prime minister's post abolished.

Turkey is a member of the Western military alliance, NATO, but it has been at odds with the United States over military strategy in Syria and with the European Union over Ankara's purges of state institutions, armed forces, police and media following the failed coup.

Erdgoan has said he will announce the cabinet on Monday night, promising to make appointments from outside parliament and to slim down his ministerial team to 16 from more than 20. Those times have already arrived, with the economic boom he's presided over threatening to turn into a bust, and a crackdown on dissent gaining new momentum.

The markets will keep a close eye on economic appointments, keen to see a steady hand at the helm in a fast-growing economy dogged by double-digit inflation and a widening current account deficit.

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