Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Economy | By

Turkey swears in President Erdogan

Turkey swears in President Erdogan

Hours later, Erdogan announced the make-up a new streamlined cabinet which included his son-in-law as finance minister.

Erdogan, who has transformed Turkey in 15 years of rule by allowing Islam a greater role in public life and boosting its global stature, took his oath in parliament for a five-year term after his June election victory. For some, it is the coronation of a new Turkey.

"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.

Parliament can ratify or reject his budget and the president needs parliamentary approval for emergency rule and decrees passed during that time.

Current Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu could in theory continue in his job but reports have said Erdogan may choose his spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, or even spy chief Hakan Fidan to succeed him.

"Erdogan, 64, says a powerful executive presidency is vital to drive economic growth, ensure security after a failed 2016 military coup and safeguard Turkey from conflict across its southern border in Syria and Iraq".

"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. But he's also overseen a strong economy and he has built up considerable support across the country.

After taking his oath, Erdogan visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Emre Erdogan, professor of political science at Istanbul's Bilgi University, said the parliament's powers were "highly restricted" under the new system.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, on July 9.

"Most powers will be concentrated in his hands, there will no longer be a prime minister, and nearly none of the checks and balances of liberal democracies will be present".

In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalised autocracy.

Under the new system, which marks Turkey's biggest overhaul of governance since the republic was established almost a century ago, there will be no prime minister in the government and Erdogan will have the ultimate say on many state issues.

No major Western leader featured on a list of 50 presidents, prime ministers and other high-ranking guests. Erdoĝan has repeatedly clashed with strategic allies such as the USA and the European Union in recent years over the war in Syria, Turkey's accession to the EU, human rights abuses by Ankara, Europe's failure to support Turkey during the coup attempt, and rising Islamophobia in Europe.

Erdogan will this week immediately turn to foreign policy, visiting northern Cyprus and Azerbaijan followed by more challenging encounters at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels where he will meet his USA counterpart Donald Trump and other leaders.

But the pro-government daily Yeni Safak wrote under the headline "historic day": "One page is closing in Turkish history and a new page is opening".

Inflation surged last month above 15 percent, its highest level in more than a decade, despite interest rate hikes of 500 basis points by the central bank since April.

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