Turkey's Erdogan begins new term with enhanced powers

Marco Green
July 10, 2018

Maduro, who tweeted the praise as a video message, was among more than 50 high-level foreign leaders, including 22 heads of states, who attended Erdoğan's inauguration ceremony at the presidential complex in Ankara on July 9.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in on Monday under a new governing system that grants him sweeping executive powers, which critics say give him far too much control.

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.

Presidents Buhari and Erdogan enjoy a great relationship and have met a number of times since their coming into office. Erdogan has described the consolidation as a means to eliminate governmental inefficiency, and his base views his consolidation of authority as a deserved outcome for a leader who has instilled Islamic values in public life, according to Reuters.

Erdogan is expected to announce his cabinet of 16 ministers later on Monday.

Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Saturday nominated Yildirim as parliament speaker, an appointment likely to be rubber-stamped by the chamber on Thursday.

Its commentator Asli Aydintasbas wrote: "I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that we entered a "second republic" era", after the republic set up by Turkey's secular founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Erdogan named Fuat Oktay, a former Turkish Airlines executive who studied in the United States, as vice president.

The post of prime minister has been scrapped and the president will now be able to select his own cabinet, regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval. "We are leaving behind the system that has in the past cost our country a heavy price in political and economic chaos". "With the power granted to us by the new presidential system, we will get quicker and stronger results".

"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". The only European Union leaders are set to be Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and Hungary's strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban. It then briefly dropped more than 1 percent after a decree removed a clause stipulating a five-year term for the central bank governor. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy", former EU Ambassador to Turkey Marc Pierini said.

The lira, which is down just under 20 percent so far this year, had gained earlier in the day.

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.

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. A senior adviser to Erdogan later said that governors would still be appointed for a five-year term.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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