Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan sworn in with new presidential powers

Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan sworn in with new presidential powers

Erdoğan took the oath of office in a ceremony in the Grand National Assembly, the culmination of almost a decade of political activism to transform the country's parliamentary democracy into a presidential system. Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for 15 years, says the powerful new executive presidency is vital to drive economic growth, ensure security after a failed 2016 military coup and safeguard the country from conflict in Syria and Iraq.

The president said in the previous days that there will not be any members or parliamentarians of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the new cabinet, hinting that it will be made up of former politicians and bureaucrats.

The president will sit at the top of a vertical power structure marked by a slimmed-down government with 16 ministries instead of 26 and multiple bodies reporting to him.

Erdogan, who first came to power as premier in 2003, won an outright victory in June 24 polls, defeating his closest rival, Muharrem Ince of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) which is now locked in internal battles over its future direction.

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Also elected on June 24 was Turkey's new parliament.

Speaking to a host of Turkish and foreign dignitaries at the presidential complex in the capital Ankara, Erdogan said: "With a presidential system of government, we are moving to a new system of government which is far beyond our nearly 150-year-quest for democracy and what we have experienced through the history of our 95-year-old republic". It later showed him visiting Ataturk's mausoleum in the capital, Ankara.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will attend, in a new sign of the warm ties between Ankara and Moscow, as will Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, regarded with disdain by Washington but an ally of Erdogan.

Together with dignitaries and guests, some 10,000 people participated in the inauguration ceremony. Leaders of religious communities will also attend the event.

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Soldiers fired a 101-gun salute during Erdogan's entrance to the presidential complex.

Guests will be given ceremonial 1 Turkish lira coins minted for the occasion.

Presidents of Bulgaria, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, Guinea, Zambia, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Somalia, Mauritania, Gabon, Chad, Djibouti and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, as well as Emir of Qatar, attended the inauguration.

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