Turkey's Erdogan sworn in with new powers, appoints son-in-law as finance minister

Erdoğan sworn in as Turkish president with enhanced powers

Erdoğan sworn in as Turkish president with enhanced powers

Erdogan narrowly won a referendum past 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.

Abolishing the post of prime minister, the president will now form the government, appoint ministers, vice presidents and high-level bureaucrats, issue decrees, prepare the budget and has the power to impose a state of emergency.

An official welcome ceremony was held on Tuesday for President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is on an official visit in Azerbaijan.

Berat Albayrak, the 40-year-old husband of the president's eldest daughter, has been energy minister since 2015 but his promotion has raised fears of nepotism at the top.

In the aftermath of the 2016 coup, Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance and still nominally a candidate to join the European Union, has detained some 160,000 people, jailed journalists and shut down dozens of media outlets.

A ceremony at the presidential palace that will follow later on Monday was scheduled to be attended by dozens of foreign leaders and dignitaries, including Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

"Erdogan, 64, says the new, powerful executive presidency is vital to drive economic growth, ensure security after a failed 2016 military coup and safeguard Turkey from conflict across its southern border in Syria and Iraq".


That change takes away one of the last checks on the president's power, Duke University professor of economics and political science Timur Kuran told The Media Line.

The role of prime minister has also been eliminated, and the president will now be able to pick his own Cabinet.

"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.

Erdogan on Monday appointed former Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar as defence minister.

Erdgoan has said he will announce the cabinet on Monday night, promising to make appointments from outside parliament and to slim down his ministerial team to 16 from more than 20. Investors are keen to see Mehmet Simsek, now deputy prime minister, continue at the helm of the economy. He is expected to become speaker of the new parliament.

Erdogan will face immediate and major challenges in his second term, posed by an imbalanced if fast-growing economy and foreign policy tensions between the West and Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member.

One day ahead of the inauguration, 18,632 public sector employees were ordered dismissed, including thousands of soldiers and police officers in a new crackdown.

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