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Erdogan assumes greater powers as Turkey's new era begins

09 July 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to be sworn in for his second term as head of the state on Monday, taking on greater powers than any Turkish leader for decades under a new system condemned by opponents as autocratic.

"As president, I swear upon my honour and integrity, before the great Turkish nation and history, to work with all my power to protect and exalt the glory and honour of the Republic of Turkey", Erdogan told parliament as he took the oath of office.

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. "With the power granted to us by the new presidential system, we will get quicker and stronger results".

Under the new system, Erdogan leads the state's executive branch and has the right to appoint and dismiss vice-presidents, a newly introduced position, as well as ministers, high-level officials and senior judges - without parliamentary approval.

Presidential aide Ibrahim Kalin said Erdogan would visit the mausoleum of Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, following the swearing-in ceremony.

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They accuse Erdogan of trying to monopolize power since July 2016, when Ankara was threatened in an abortive coup purportedly orchestrated by his nemesis Fetullah Gulen, a friend-turned-foe clergyman based in the United States.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey's relations with its Western allies have been strained by disputes with the United States over military strategy in Syria and by European Union criticism of Ankara's large-scale purges of state institutions, armed forces, police and media following the failed coup.

The markets will keep a close eye on economic appointments, keen to see a steady hand at the helm in a fast-growing economy dogged by double-digit inflation and a widening current account deficit.

The new executive presidency is to be inaugurated on Monday, when Erdogan takes his oath for a five-year term after victory in the elections of June 24.

The lira TRYTOM=D3, which is down some 16 percent so far this year, firmed to its highest level since mid-June before falling back to 4.61 against the dollar.

Erdogan assumes greater powers as Turkey's new era begins