Published: Wed, July 11, 2018

Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president with vast new powers

Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president with vast new powers

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to be sworn in as Turkey's First Executive President with vastly expanded powers on Monday, when he also plans to announce his cabinet.

Erdogan appointed his son-in-law as Turkey's finance minister on Monday hours after taking his oath of office.

The appointment of Erdogan's son-in-law "will worry a number of investors and some of the markets, because they didn't much enjoy dealing with Albayrak when he was the energy minister", Peter Westmacott, who served as former British ambassador to Turkey from 2002 to 2006 told CNBC.

The post of prime minister has been scrapped and the president will be able to select a cabinet, regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will on Monday go down in history as the 27th and final holder of a post that has existed since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded modern Turkey, and whose origins date back to the Ottoman Empire.

The lira fell 3.8 percent to 4.7488 per dollar, extending one of the biggest slides across emerging markets this year.


The lira currency, which has been battered this year by concerns about President Tayyip Erdogan's drive for greater control over monetary policy, declined after the changes were published.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was present, in a new sign of the warm ties between Ankara and Moscow, as was Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, regarded with disdain by Washington but an ally of Erdogan.

Erdogan's supporters see the changes as just reward for a leader who has put Islamic values at the core of public life, championed the pious working classes and overseen years of strong economic growth. "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.

Investors were waiting to see whether cabinet appointees would include individuals seen as market-friendly, and particularly whether Mehmet Simsek, now deputy prime minister, would continue to oversee the economy. Reuters adds: After taking the oath of office in parliament, he addressed global leaders gathered at the presidential palace in Ankara. 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. Erdoĝan has repeatedly clashed with strategic allies such as the U.S. 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.

Turkey also faces a widening current account deficit making it reliant on weak foreign investment to plug the gap. An adviser to Erdogan later said that the governor's term would remain at five years. Erdogan, the AK Party and MHP candidate, won the June 24 presidential election with 52.5 percent of the vote.

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