Friday, 16 November, 2018

Tayyip Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's first executive president

Russell Knight | 10 July, 2018, 14:12

"We, as Turkey and as the Turkish people, are making a new start here today", Erdogan said in an address late on Monday.

Turkey on Monday removed a law that stipulates a five-year term for the head of the central bank and scrapped a requirement that deputy governors have a decade of experience, deepening worries about the bank's independence under a new presidential system.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his wife Emine Erdogan, makes a speech during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey July 9, 2018. Investors are keen to see Mehmet Simsek, now deputy prime minister, continue at the helm of the economy.

Erdogan, the most popular and divisive leader in recent Turkish history, has now formally become the most powerful leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the republic from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.

The currency has been battered by concern about Erdogan's drive for lower interest rates and comments he made in May saying he planned to take greater control of the economy after the June 24 elections.

Assuming the new executive presidency he has long fought to establish, Erdogan earlier took the oath of office in parliament before addressing worldwide leaders gathered at the presidential palace in Ankara.

Mr Erdogan has largely ruled by fiat since 2016, when he imposed a state of emergency on the country in response to a failed coup attempt against him.

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TIGHTENING GRIP Since taking office in 2003, first as prime minister and later as president, Erdogan has dominated Turkey, tightening his grip over the country of 81 million people as he tamed rival power centres including the military, which toppled some previous governments.

"There was the sense in the market that there is the principle of the reality, which means the central bank will be allowed to hike interest rates when necessary", said Sebastien Barbe, head of emerging market research and strategy at Credit Agricole.

What does this mean for the United States?

"In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy", former EU Ambassador to Turkey Marc Pierini said.

"Albayrak was one of 16 ministers named in the new streamlined cabinet after the ceremony at the presidential palace, which state news agency Anadolu said was attended by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court".

He told the Turkish President that he would be sending the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Muhammed Bello, to represent him. The only European Union leaders are set to be Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and Hungary's strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

After winning 52.9 percent of the vote in Turkey's presidential election two weeks ago, Erdogan was granted the ability to call additional elections, appoint judges without parliamentary approval, dissolve Parliament, and issue decrees that had previously been reserved for states of emergency. "For the cabinet appointments in the past several years, the most important issue has been the presence of the current deputy prime minister, Mehmet Simsek", said Inan Demir, a senior economist at Nomura International.

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