Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Tayyip Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's first executive president

Tayyip Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's first executive president

He then unveiled the first cabinet under the new system, appointing his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, 40, to the crucial post of finance minister, in a move that appeared to rattle markets.

The lira has been battered by concern about Erdogan´s drive for lower interest rates and by comments in May that he planned to take greater control of the economy after the June elections.

In a referendum past year, Turkish voters approved a series of comprehensive changes that granted significantly more powers to the president, eliminated the prime minister position and increased the size of the country's parliament, to name a few. "There is no stopping for us until we bring Turkey - which we saved from plotters, coupists and political and economic hitmen, street gangs and terrorist organisations - to among the top 10 economies in the world", he said. Armed forces chief of staff Hulusi Akar was named defence minister.

The post of prime minister will be scrapped.

"Erdogan, 64, says a powerful executive presidency is vital to drive economic growth, ensure security after a failed 2016 military coup and safeguard Turkey from conflict across its southern border in Syria and Iraq".

At the center of the quarrel is the president's demand for a greater say over monetary policy and his insistence - against economic orthodoxy - that interest rates need to be lowered to tamp down inflation that's more than triple the government's 5 percent target. The introduction of the new presidential system marks the biggest overhaul of governance since the Turkish republic was established on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire almost a century ago.

He told the Turkish President that he would be sending the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Muhammed Bello, to represent him.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announces his new cabinet at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey July 9, 2018.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, was just sworn into office for another five-year term. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy", former EU Ambassador to Turkey Marc Pierini said.

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. The only European Union leaders are set to be Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and Hungary's strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

In the aftermath of the 2016 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.

Erdogan said he would publicize his cabinet picks later on Monday.

But the pro-government daily Yeni Safak wrote under the headline "historic day": "One page is closing in Turkish history and a new page is opening". Erdogan won an absolute majority in the presidential election with 52.5% of the vote, according to Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK).

Turkey also faces a widening current account deficit making it reliant on weak foreign investment to plug the gap. The lira, which gained more than 1 percent earlier on Monday to 4.51 against the dollar, briefly fell back sharply after a government decree removed a clause stipulating a five-year term for the central bank governor.

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