Tayyip Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's first executive president

Lloyd Doyle
July 12, 2018

Erdogan narrowly won a referendum previous year to replace Turkey's parliamentary democracy with a system featuring an all-powerful presidency, and followed that with a hard-fought election victory last month to the newly strengthened post.

Mr Erdogan is now the country's most powerful leader since Ataturk: modern Turkey's secular founding father, who saw Turkey as part of the west.

Hours after he was sworn in with sweeping new powers at a ceremony in the capital of Ankara late on Monday, Erdogan named Berat Albayrak as treasury and finance minister.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul have retained their portfolios in the new cabinet.

Earlier, the government issued a decree adjusting Turkey's laws to the new presidential system that comes into effect with the elections.

State news agency Anadolu said Erdogan's inauguration celebration was attended by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

"But amidst a host of bilateral issues, mismatched expectations and mounting mutual anger in Turkey and Washington, a lasting reset will prove hard to pull off", Danforth warned.

"A partisan one-man regime starts officially today", said the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper.

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".

Turkey's army may come under the authority of the defence ministry. He is expected to become speaker of the new parliament. Erdogan said that folk dancing and a laser show had been cancelled as a result. Few European leaders attended his inauguration - only those from Hungary and Bulgaria - with most from Africa and the Middle East: a sign of his geopolitical realignment.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, presents his new Vice President Fuat Oktay, left, and other members s of his cabinet during a news conference at Presidential Palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, July 9, 2018.

Among the obstacles between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies is the imprisonment of US citizens in Turkey, including pastor Andrew Brunson who is now on trial on terrorism charges.

Erdogan will visit two traditional allies this week - Azerbaijan and Turkish northern Cyprus.

Turkey also faces a widening current account deficit making it reliant on weak foreign investment to plug the gap. 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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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