Turkey's Erdogan Starts Presidential Rule, Names Son-in-Law as Finance Minister

Marco Green
July 12, 2018

He took his oath in parliament for a new five-year term after his June election victory, followed by a ceremony at the presidential palace attended by dozens of world leaders marking the transition to the new executive presidency system. In particular, the departure of former Merrill Lynch banker Mehmet Simsek, who served as deputy prime minister, has raised concerns about the lack of influencers who can monitor Erdogan's policies.

Mr Erdogan, who was re-elected last month, vowed to "propel our country forward" with his sweeping new powers.

In an email to The Media Line, Bipartisan Policy Center senior policy analyst Nicholas Danforth said Erdogan is likely hoping the new system will now make Western countries acknowledge he is here to say and encourage them to work with the Turkish president.

Hardline Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu keeps his job, while Akar's appointment as defense minister was also a surprise and it remains unclear who will replace him as army chief of staff. "We are leaving behind the system that has in the past cost our country a heavy price in political and economic chaos".

After Erdogan announced that Berat Albayrak will lead the new post of treasury and finance minister- a combination of two previous positions-the value of the Turkish lira dropped 3.6 percent, worrying investors.

There is a two-term limit on the office of the president, so he could effectively stay in power until 2028.

Taking the prime minister's office in March 2003, Erdogan implemented a number of reforms of crucial importance, such as the removal of six zeros from Turkey's currency, restoring stature to the Turkish lira, and a considerable increase in the national income per capita.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, talks to Devlet Bahceli, left, leader of Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, following a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, July 9, 2018.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi were due to attend the ceremony.

"Turkey will write a new story", he promised.

There are 16 ministers in Erdogan's streamlined new cabinet, which Erdogan has said will be more efficient and act faster.

The post of prime minister will be scrapped.

Simsek, a former Merill Lynch economist who had spent much of the a year ago trying to reassure markets after sometimes provocative comments by Erdogan, appeared to show no bitterness over his departure.

Erdogan pledged to build a "strong Turkey" with a powerful defence industry and expanding economy.

But he has also polarised opinion, cracking down on opponents and putting some 160,000 people in jail.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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