Erdogan takes on new powers, names son-in-law finance chief

Erdogan urges 'correct evaluation' of Turkish elections

Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in again as Turkey's president on Monday, assuming sweeping powers he won in a referendum previous year and sealed in a hard-fought re-election victory two weeks ago. The lira has also fallen by a fifth in value against the dollar this year.

Erdogan would become both the head of state and government, with the prime minister's post abolished.

"We, as Turkey and as the Turkish people, are making a new start here today", he told the dignitaries and thousands of guests.

"We are leaving behind the system that has in the past cost our country a heavy price in political and economic chaos", he said.

Parliament can ratify or reject his budget and the president needs parliamentary approval for emergency rule and decrees passed during that time. Armed forces chief of staff Hulusi Akar was named defence minister.

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Erdogan's restructuring is the most significant adjustment of the country's political system since the formal establishment of modern Turkey.

"We are embarking on this road by using this opportunity as best we can for a strong parliament, strong government and strong Turkey", he said.

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 Turkey's economic growth and guarantee its security. Erdogan has described the consolidation as a means to eliminate governmental inefficiency, and his base views his consolidation of authority as a deserved outcome for a leader who has instilled Islamic values in public life, according to Reuters.

After taking his oath, Erdogan visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

But Cemil Ertem, a senior advisor to Erdogan, said a new decree on the governor's term would be published later on Monday, adding that governors would still be appointed for a five-year term. Monday's ceremony paves the way to shift Ankara's ruling model from a parliamentary to a presidential republic.

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Erdogan called general and presidential elections more than a year earlier than planned, arguing that using the extended presidential powers was necessary to boost economy, ensure security and prevent a spillover of conflicts from neighboring Iraq and Syria. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy", former EU Ambassador to Turkey Marc Pierini said.

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu (centre) with his Sudanese counterpart attends the inauguration of Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on Monday, July 9,2018. The only European Union leaders are set to be Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and Hungary's strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban. In 2016, a coup to depose him failed.

More than 150,000 state employees have lost their jobs in the crackdown following the coup attempt, and Turkey's interior minister said in April some 77,000 have been formally charged and kept in jail during their trials.

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 United States counterpart Donald Trump and other leaders.

Last month Mr Erdogan was re-elected with 53% of the vote.

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