Turkey swears in President Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives his oath as he is sworn in Monday at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, Turkey.

The cabinet was unveiled after Erdogan took the oath of office for a second term as president with enhanced powers granted in last year's narrowly-won referendum.

On Sunday, Erdogan fired more than 18,600 people from government jobs for allegedly posing a security risk to the state.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets deputies during a meeting of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, Turkey on July 7, 2018.

The president will also have the power to dissolve parliament, issue executive decrees and impose a state of emergency.

Erdogan will this week immediately turn to foreign policy, visiting northern Cyprus and Azerbaijan followed by more challenging encounters at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels where he will meet his USA counterpart Donald Trump and other leaders. Turkey has become the world's biggest jailer of journalists, and prosecutions of media personnel and civil society members have continued in recent months.

"A partisan one-man regime starts officially today", said the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper. He vowed to "remain loyal to the rule of law, to the democratic and secular republic, and to Ataturk's principles and reforms".

The new government faces immediate economic challenges.

Under the new system, Erdogan will not only run the executive branch but also lead his Justice and Development Party in parliament where he is six short of a majority and therefore allied with a nationalist party. Posters of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, left, and of Erdogan are seen in the background.

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, is being subsumed into the foreign ministry. The prime minister will not exist in the new system.

Turkey is expected to adopt an increasingly nationalistic line in its foreign policy with the conservative and Islamic-leaning AKP and the nationalist MHP in parliament. The Amir left Ankara later in the evening after attending the inauguration ceremony. Erdogan's re-election at the June 24 polls marked Turkey's transition to an executive presidential system of government, doing away with the prime minister's post, among other changes.

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.

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

"The latest vast round of purges is a further confirmation that there won't be any meaningful normalization of Turkish politics for the foreseeable future", according to Teneo Intelligence Co-President Wolfango Piccoli.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim now goes down in history as the 27th and final holder of the post in Turkey.

The markets were keeping a close eye on the finance ministry, 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.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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