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Erdogan sworn in with new powers, names son-in-law as finance minister

12 July 2018

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has named his son-in-law as the country's finance minister after being sworn in to another five-year term.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the day of his inauguration, July 9, announced the appointment to the Cabinet of Ministers.

Erdogan, who has transformed Turkey in 15 years of rule, described the change as a "new beginning" in the country's history and vowed to be the president of all 81 million Turks.

"Turkey is entering a new era with the presidential oath ceremony on Monday", Mr Erdogan told members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ahead of the swearing in.

Investors were waiting to see whether cabinet appointees would include individuals seen as market-friendly, and particularly whether Mehmet Simsek, now deputy prime minister, would continue to oversee the economy. Turkey's lira, which has fallen more than 20% in the year so far, weakened on Monday, flipping into negative territory following the news of the central bank term removal.

The role of prime minister is abolished, with its powers transferred to the president.

The lira, which has lost almost a fifth of its value against the dollar this year, dropped almost 3 per cent to 4.74 to the USA currency after the cabinet announcement.

Transition of Turkey from the parliamentary form of government to the presidential one can be considered the peak of political reforms in the country.

The president will sit 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.

President Trump chatted up Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as they headed for a group photo at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Belgium Wednesday - choosing the authoritarian leader's company over that of America's longtime European allies.

Earlier, the government issued a decree adjusting Turkey's laws to the new presidential system that comes into effect with the elections.

Erdogan on Monday appointed former Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar as defense minister.

In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalised autocracy. The sweeping dismissals bring to about 130,000 the number of people purged from Turkey's civil service since the failed coup, and come just days before the state of emergency is set to expire.

"The central bank will not have independence, there will be no restraints on the president in determining the budget [and] spending priorities", said Kuran. What "is certain", said Ertem, is that the governors will be appointed by the president.

The Supreme Electoral Council confirmed Erdogan's victory in the June 24 presidential race, declaring that he won 52.59 percent of the votes.

Erdogan sworn in with new powers, names son-in-law as finance minister