Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Economy | By

President Mamnoon Hussain arrives in Turkey to attend Erdogan's inauguration

President Mamnoon Hussain arrives in Turkey to attend Erdogan's inauguration

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday took the oath of office as Turkey's first executive president.

Erdogan's critics say the political shift from the old parliamentary system, in which the prime minister was chosen by lawmakers, to the new presidency system will damage the democratic pillars in Turkey.

The new system was agreed in a bitterly fought 2017 referendum, but the changes have been vehemently denounced by the opposition.

Turkey is embarking on a journey toward a stronger government and country, President Tayyip Erdogan said in his inauguration speech on Monday, promising advancement in every area from rights to investment.

They accuse Erdogan of trying to monopolize power since July 2016, when Ankara was threatened in an abortive coup purportedly orchestrated by his nemesis Fetullah Gulen, a friend-turned-foe clergyman based in the United States.

The president has promised to lift the emergency conditions later this month but in the hours before his swearing in he used to issue two more edicts.

Also, a total of 28 foreign dignitaries - including prime ministers, vice presidents, parliament speakers and ministers - will also attend the ceremony.

Erdogan is expected to name a streamlined cabinet of 16 ministers on Monday evening after a ceremony at the presidential palace for more than 7,000 guests, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. Erdogan has prevailed in a dozen local, parliamentary and presidential elections. The coup was followed by a crackdown on members of the bureaucracy, judiciary, armed forces, police, media and academia, with more than 130,000 people dismissed from their jobs or arrested.

Marc Pierini, a former European Union ambassador to Turkey and visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, said Erdogan's new powers would effectively make him a "super-executive president".

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.

On Saturday, Erdogan said he would tackle high interest rates, inflation and a wide current account deficit.

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