Sworn in with new powers, Erdoğan leaves on first trip

Sergei Bobylev  TASS

Sergei Bobylev TASS

The introduction of the new presidential system is the biggest overhaul of governance since the Turkish republic was established on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire almost a century ago.

"Our dear President decided and found it important to attend an inauguration ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, a ceremony which is characterised with merrymaking such as drinking wine and other both intoxicating liquor and softies, dancing and making toasts".

He says the changes, the biggest overhaul of governance since the modern Turkish republic was founded from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire nearly a century ago, are needed to drive economic growth and guarantee security.

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.

Assuming the new executive presidency he has long fought to establish, Erdogan earlier took the oath of office in parliament before addressing global leaders gathered at the presidential palace in Ankara. "We are leaving behind the system that has in the past cost our country a heavy price in political and economic chaos".

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President Erdogan has packed his new cabinet with arch-loyalists including a family member, a childhood friend and an army chief who stood by him on the night of the coup attempt, in a clear sign that he intends to fully exercise the expanded powers handed to him under Turkey's reformed constitution.

"There was the sense in the market that there is the principle of the reality, which means the central bank will be allowed to hike interest rates when necessary", said Sebastien Barbe, head of emerging market research and strategy at Credit Agricole.

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.

Just as Ataturk transformed an impoverished nation at the eastern edge of Europe into a secular, Western-facing republic, Mr Erdogan has fought to bring Islamic values back into public life and lift millions of pious Turks - long ostracised by the secular elite - out of poverty.

Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani with Sudan's President, Omer Al Bashir and former president of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, during the inauguration ceremony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Fuat Oktay, a former head of Turkey's emergencies agency, has been named as the sole vice president, a newly-created post.

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

Erdogan won an absolute majority in the presidential election with 52.5 percent of the vote, according to Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK).

Earlier on Monday the lira briefly dropped more than 1 percent after a decree removed a clause stipulating a five-year term for the central bank governor. In 2016, a coup to depose him failed.

"When you scrap the five-year term you remove this shield", he said.

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The new cabinet, due to be announced Monday evening, is expected to have a different look, with pro-government Hurriyet daily columnist Abdulkadir Selvi saying that it was set to "surprise" with figures from outside the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

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