Monday, 12 November, 2018

Erdogan takes on new powers, names son-in-law finance chief

Erdogan urges 'correct evaluation' of Turkish elections Erdogan takes on new powers, names son-in-law finance chief
Nellie Chapman | 10 July, 2018, 14:13

The introduction of the new presidential system is the biggest overhaul of governance since the Turkish republic was established on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire almost a century ago.

After the inauguration, Erdogan will immediately turn to foreign policy, visiting northern Cyprus and Azerbaijan, both traditional first ports of call for a newly elected Turkish leader. There was no place in the cabinet for former deputy prime minister Mehmet Simsek, who was seen as the main market friendly minister in the previous government.

He says the changes, the biggest overhaul of governance since the modern Turkish republic was founded from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire nearly a century ago, are needed to drive economic growth and guarantee security.

Under the new system, 64-year-old Erdogan will lead the state's executive branch and have the right to appoint and remove vice-presidents, a newly introduced position, as well as ministers, high-level officials and senior judges - without parliamentary approval. "There is no stopping for us until we bring Turkey - which we saved from plotters, coupists and political and economic hitmen, street gangs and terrorist organisations - to among the top 10 economies in the world", he said.

Erdogan has said the powerful executive presidency is vital to driving economic growth and to ensure security after a failed 2016 military coup. Erdogan's supporters see the changes as a just reward for a leader who has put Islamic values at the core of public life, championed the pious working classes and overseen years of strong economic growth.

"As president, I swear upon my honor and integrity, before the great Turkish nation and history, to work with all my power to protect and exalt the glory and honor of the Republic of Turkey", Erdogan said to the parliament while taking the oath of office.

Ties with the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners also frayed, but Turkey remains crucial for any hope of stability in Syria and Iraq and curbing refugee flows to Europe.

But his decision to fly to Turkey to attend President Erdo?an's inauguration has been questioned by Mr Chipenzi saying it shows President Lungu's lack of prioririties. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalised autocracy".

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is on the guest list as is Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar, Turkey's closest ally in the Middle East.

Turkey is a member of the Western military alliance, NATO, but it has been at odds with the United States over military strategy in Syria and with the European Union over Ankara´s large-scale purges of state institutions, armed forces, police and media following the failed coup.

Earlier on Monday the lira briefly dropped more than 1 percent after a decree removed a clause stipulating a five-year term for the central bank governor.

Erdogan won an absolute majority in the presidential election with 52.5 percent of the vote, according to Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK).

Current Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu could, in theory, continue in his job but reports have said Erdogan may choose his spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, or even spy chief Hakan Fidan to succeed him.

The decree did not state an alternative term length or re-appointment process for the central bank governor, or what new requirements for deputy governors would be.