Erdogan assumes greater powers as Turkey's new era begins
11 July, 2018, 10:40 | Author: Myra Gill
Speaking at his sprawling presidential compound in Ankara, Erdogan unveiled the rebranded presidency "on this most important day of our country".
Erdogan referred to the principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic.
The president will also have the power to dissolve parliament, issue executive decrees and impose a state of emergency.
Erdogan, who has transformed Turkey by allowing Islam to play a greater role in public life and boosting the country's global stature, will take his oath nearly two years after defeating a bloody attempted coup.
"As president, I swear upon my honour and integrity, before the great Turkish nation and history, to work with all my power to protect and exalt the glory and honour of the Republic of Turkey", Erdogan told parliament as he took the oath of office.
Erdogan has been the president of Turkey since 2014.
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.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes oath of office at Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, yesterday. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu remained in his post.
The lira, which has lost almost a fifth of its value against the dollar this year, dropped almost 3 per cent to 4.74 to the USA currency after the cabinet announcement. 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.
On the eve of Monday's inauguration authorities dismissed more than 18,000 state employees - a lot of them from the police and army - in what the government said would be the final decree under emergency rule imposed following a failed 2016 coup.
Monday's announcements had deepened worries about the bank's independence and triggered losses in the lira, which has been hit this year by concerns about Erdogan's drive for greater control over monetary policy.
The new system abolishes the post of prime minister, granting the president the power to appoint the cabinet - which he was expected to announce later on Monday - and unelected vice-presidents. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy", former EU Ambassador to Turkey Marc Pierini said. The sweeping dismissals bring to about 130,000 the number of people purged from Turkey's civil service since the failed coup, and come just days before the state of emergency is set to expire.
There are 16 ministers in Erdogan's streamlined new cabinet, which Erdogan has said will be more efficient and act faster.
"When you scrap the five-year term you remove this shield", he said.
Erdogan faces economic problems such as high interest rates and inflation as well as a plunging currency that has lost 17 percent of its value against the dollar since the start of 2018.
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