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Turkey: President to make top military appointments

10 July 2018, 05:08 | Devin Moran

The president of Turkey was just sworn in and given sweeping new powers

Erdoğan sworn in as Turkish president with enhanced powers

Erdogan, who was sworn in as Turkey's first executive president on Monday, told investors in May that he plans to take more control of economic policy in his new role.

An earlier presidential decree merged treasury and finance ministries, and Berat Albayrak, the former energy minister and President Erdoğan's son-in-law, has been appointed to the newly created post to be in charge of the economy.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announces his new cabinet at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey July 9, 2018. The coup was led by military leaders who opposed Erdogan's push to make Turkey more Islamic and less secular. "We are leaving behind the system that has in the past cost our country a heavy price in political and economic chaos", he said at his inauguration.

The president can issue decrees, prepare the budget and has the power to impose a state of emergency.

Erdogan has described high interest rates as "the mother and father of all evil", and said in May he would expect to wield greater economic control after the election.

But Erdogan faces immediate challenges posed by Ankara's faltering bid to join the European Union and tensions between the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

"Albayrak becoming the finance minister is not a good sign especially because of his close relationship with President Erdogan".

Erdogan's restructuring is the most significant adjustment of the country's political system since the formal establishment of modern Turkey, which supplanted the shattered remains of the Ottoman Empire.




The inauguration ceremony, which was held in Presidential Compound yesterday evening, was attended by a number of heads of states and government, representatives of heads of states, ministers, heads of parliaments of some countries and representatives of worldwide organizations.

"Most powers will be concentrated in his hands, there will no longer be a prime minister, and nearly none of the checks and balances of liberal democracies will be present. In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy", former EU Ambassador to Turkey Marc Pierini said.

"Albayrak was one of 16 ministers named in the new streamlined cabinet after the ceremony at the presidential palace, which state news agency Anadolu said was attended by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court". There was a notable absence of Western leaders among the 50 high-ranking guests, which included 22 heads of state.

In the aftermath of the coup, Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance and still nominally a candidate to join the European Union, has detained some 160,000 people, jailed journalists and shut down dozens of media outlets.

Turkey also faces a widening current account deficit making it reliant on weak foreign investment to plug the gap.

Erdogan was sworn in Monday for a second presidential term under a controversial new system that will centralise all institutions, including the army, under the presidency.

Scrapping the term would remove a shield that helps ensure the bank's independence from politicians, former central banker Ugur Gurses said.

"We are now adopting a model that is way beyond our 150-year-old pursuit of democracy and our 95-year-long experience of a republic", Erdogan said.



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