Turkey's Erdogan sworn in with new powers, names son-in-law finance minister

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President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated his Turkish counterpart, Tayyep Erdogan, on his re-election and said he looked forward to the strengthening of relations between the two countries. On the margins of the summit, he will meet with a number of heads of governments and states, including United States President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"We are leaving behind the system that has in the past cost our country a heavy price in political and economic chaos", Erdogan said in an address late on Monday.

Under the new decree, the president will decide on the promotion of top officers, including colonels, brigadier generals, rear admirals, generals and admirals, in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

Erdogan said in May he would take further control of the central bank after June 24 elections, which sent the lira tumbling to a record low against the dollar, and forced the central bank to aggressively raise rates.

In April 2017, 51 percent of Turkish voters endorsed constitutional changes backed by Erdogan, which scrapped the post of prime minister and allowed the president to appoint ministers and vice presidents and intervene in the legal system.

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


Erdogan referred to the principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic.

"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.

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.

Just as Ataturk transformed an impoverished nation at the eastern edge of Europe into a secular, Western-facing republic, Erdogan has fought to bring Islamic values back into public life and lift millions of pious Turks - long ostracized by the secular elite - out of poverty. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalised autocracy".

Among the dignitaries present at the ceremony were Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

No major Western leader featured on a list of 50 presidents, prime ministers and other high-ranking guests. In 2016, a coup to depose him failed.


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".

Erdoğan, who has ruled Turkey as prime minister and then as president for 15 years, won a snap election last month with 52% of the vote.

The markets will keep a close eye on economic appointments, 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.

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.

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


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