Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Erdogan sworn in under new ruling system

Turkey’s AK party names Yildirim as parliament speaker Erdogan sworn in under new ruling system
Jean Garcia | 10 July, 2018, 06:20

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's restructuring is the most significant adjustment of the country's political system since the formal establishment of modern Turkey. The issue is still polarizing in Turkey.

On the eve of Monday's inauguration authorities dismissed more than 18,000 state employees - majority from the police and army - in what the government said would be the final decree under emergency rule imposed following a failed 2016 coup.

The new system abolishes the post of prime minister, granting the president the power to appoint the cabinet - which he was expected to announce later on Monday - and unelected vice-presidents.

"A partisan one-man regime starts officially today", said the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper.

Erdogan called general and presidential elections more than a year earlier than planned, arguing that using the extended presidential powers was necessary to boost economy, ensure security and prevent a spillover of conflicts from neighboring Iraq and Syria.

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.

Opponents say the move marks a lurch to authoritarianism, accusing Erdogan of eroding the secular institutions set up by modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and driving it further from Western values of democracy and free speech.

But the pro-government daily Yeni Safak wrote under the headline "historic day": "One page is closing in Turkish history and a new page is opening".

The president now sits 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.

Iranian women dance in solidarity with teenager arrested for her videos
Six people were arrested in August over videos of themselves Zumba dancing were posted on social media. I did not have any intention to encourage others doing the same ...

Erdogan previously said 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 ex-politicians and bureaucrats.

In one of the most significant changes, the European Union affairs ministry, set up in 2011 to oversee Turkey's faltering bid to join the bloc, will be subsumed into the foreign ministry.

In a tweet, Maduro hailed Erdogan as a "friend of Venezuela and leader of the new multi-polar world".

No major Western leader featured on a list of 50 presidents, prime ministers and other high-ranking guests.

State television channel TRT broadcast Erdogan's described Monday's swearing-in as the "first day of the new Turkey".

Turkish Presidential Press Secretary Ibrahim Kalin.

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.

Erdoğan, who has ruled Turkey as prime minister and then as president for 15 years, won a snap election last month with 52% of the vote.

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