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

Blanche Robertson
July 11, 2018

The Turkish lira dropped three percent on the news, but rebounded slightly on Tuesday.

He then unveiled the first cabinet under the new system, appointing his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, 40, to the crucial post of finance minister, in a move that appeared to rattle markets.

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.

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

President Erdogan invited President Lungu along with Gabonese President Ali Bongo, Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau and Equatorial Guinea President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema to his inauguration.

The service period for the chief of staff will be four years. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu remained in his post. Investors are keen to see Mehmet Simsek, now deputy prime minister, continue at the helm of the economy. The president will be able to select his own cabinet, regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval. But he's also overseen a strong economy and he has built up considerable support across the country.

"We make a promise once more to strengthen our nation's unity and brotherhood and to continue making our country great and glorifying our state", Erdoğan said after visiting the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the Turkish republic's founder, in the capital, Ankara.

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The royal couple will meet both President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during their relatively short two-day trip. The Duchess of Sussex put on a stunning display as she joined the royals on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

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.

The coronation of the presidential office as the nexus of political power takes place at a critical juncture. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy", former EU Ambassador to Turkey Marc Pierini said. Reuters adds: After taking the oath of office in parliament, he addressed global leaders gathered at the presidential palace in Ankara. He was taken hostage during the night of the failed military coup in July 2016, which was blamed on US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The new cabinet, due to be announced at 1800 GMT, is expected to have a different look, especially after Erdogan said the government would include non-AKP figures.

But the pro-government daily Yeni Safak hailed it as an "historic day", saying: "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.

Earlier on Monday the lira briefly dropped more than 1 per cent after a decree removed a clause stipulating a five-year term for the central bank governor. The 64-year-old president, who has governed since 2003, won a mandate in the June 24 elections to govern with sweeping new powers on the platform that a powerful presidential office would ensure stability in turbulent times.

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