Erdogan assumes greater powers as Turkey's new era begins

Erdoğan sworn in as Turkish president with enhanced powers

The president of Turkey was just sworn in and given sweeping 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.

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. PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2018PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu was yesterday among 22 Heads of State and foreign dignitaries invited to attend Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's inauguration ceremony in the capital, Ankara.

Investors are anxious that, with the appointment of Albayrak and dismissal of some top finance ministers, there will be no-one left to temper Erdogan's economic views.

And the emergency rule he declared after a July 2016 coup attempt has brought mass purges of political opponents and a crackdown on dissent.

On his turn, President Erdogan asked the Minister of Commerce and Industry to convey his utmost greetings and appreciation to His Majesty the Sultan, wishing His Majesty good health, wellbeing and a long life, and the Omani people further progress and growth.

In an email to The Media Line, Bipartisan Policy Center senior policy analyst Nicholas Danforth said Erdogan is likely hoping the new system will now make Western countries acknowledge he is here to say and encourage them to work with the Turkish president.

State news agency Anadolu said Erdogan's inauguration celebration was attended by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

The introduction of the new presidential system marks the biggest overhaul of governance since the republic was established on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire almost a century ago. The issue continues to polarize public opinion in Turkey.

Erdogan on Monday appointed former Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar as defence minister. The number of ministries under the presidential system has been reduced from 26 to 16 and those dealing with economic matters halved to three.

The appointment of Berat Albayrak appeared to rattle the markets amid concerns of nepotism in the upper echelons of power.

Among the obstacles between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies is the imprisonment of US citizens in Turkey, including pastor Andrew Brunson who is now on trial on terrorism charges.

The AKP failed to win a majority in legislative elections and will need support from its allies in the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) which could push it into more hardline policies.

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