Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Erdogan sworn in as Turkish president with sweeping new powers

Erdogan sworn in as Turkish president with sweeping new powers Erdogan sworn in as Turkish president with sweeping new powers
Jean Garcia | 09 July, 2018, 20:51

Emre Erdogan, professor of political science at Istanbul's Bilgi University, said the parliament's powers were "highly restricted" under the new system.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been sworn in for another term as president of Turkey, inaugurating a new political system that grants the leader vast powers.

Mr Erdogan has led Turkey for 15 years already but the constitutional changes which came into effect when he took the oath of office Monday give him new authority to rule by presidential decree and to assert control over the judiciary.

There is a two-term limit on the office of the president, so he could effectively stay in power until 2028.

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

The post of prime minister has been scrapped and the president will now be able to select his own cabinet, regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval.

Top UK diplomat Boris Johnson quits as Brexit tensions jolt government
For a long time it had been clear Boris Johnson was not happy with the prime minister's Brexit strategy. "I'm seeking Brexit. If Theresa May wants to break her manifesto pledges that is up to her [but] these things have consequences.

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.

"Turkey is entering a new era with the presidential oath ceremony on Monday", Erdogan told his ruling AKP party at the weekend.

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. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy".

Among 22 heads of state attending will be Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, regarded with disdain by Washington but an ally of Erdogan, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Those attending the ceremony at the presidential palace on Monday evening will include Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, in a new sign of the warm ties between Ankara and Moscow.

Under his leadership, Ankara started accession talks with the European Union, which stalled amid EU criticism of human rights in Turkey. The lira has also fallen by a fifth in value against the dollar this year.

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