Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president with vast new powers

Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president with vast new powers

Erdogan has led Turkey for the past 15 years and assumed even more sweeping powers on Monday as he was sworn in as the first head of the country's new, all-powerful executive presidency.

The cabinet was unveiled after Erdogan took the oath of office for a second term as president with enhanced powers granted in last year's narrowly-won referendum.

The dignitaries included Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a sign of the warm ties between Russia and Turkey, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

"As the 12th president [of the nation] and the first president of the presidential system, I once more vow to strengthen the unity and brotherhood of our nation, develop the country, and elevate the state".

He has also pledged to end the state of emergency that has been in place since the failed July 2016 coup and which has seen the biggest purge in the history of modern Turkey.

The president has promised to lift the emergency conditions later this month but in the hours before his swearing in he used to issue two more edicts.

Erdogan has been the president of Turkey since 2014.

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And unlike the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in May 2017 - where the president famously shoved Montenegro's Prime Minister Dusko Markovic out of the way so he could be in the front row of the group photo - other leaders gave him plenty of space and he stood alone, front and center.

Under the new 18-article constitution, the president has strengthened executive powers and can directly appoint top public officials, including ministers.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend his first major worldwide summit since getting reelected on Wednesday when he attends the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation heads of state and government meeting in Brussels.

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. The only European Union leaders are set to be Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and Hungary's strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The currency has been battered by concern about Erdogan's drive for lower interest rates and comments he made in May saying he planned to take greater control of the economy after the June 24 elections.

Likewise, the departure of market-friendly ministers such as Mehmet Simsek, the well regarded former deputy prime minister, and Naci Agbal, previously the finance minister, has also undermined confidence. The lira, which is down some 16 percent so far this year, firmed to its highest level since mid-June before falling back to 4.61 against the dollar.

Lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) stood up, as is customary, during Erdogan's swearing-in, while opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and Good (IYI) Party lawmakers did not.

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