Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president with vast new powers

Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president with vast new powers

Erdogan, who has transformed Turkey by allowing Islam to play a greater role in public life and boosting the country's global stature, will take his oath nearly two years after defeating a bloody attempted coup. Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for 15 years, says the powerful new executive presidency is vital to drive economic growth, ensure security after a failed 2016 military coup and safeguard the country from conflict in Syria and Iraq.

He also announced that all celebrations during the inauguration ceremony would be cancelled due to Sunday's train accident in Turkey's northwestern province of Tekirdag which left at least 24 people killed.

The changes are the result of a bitterly fought referendum in 2017, where Mr Erdogan campaigned for a Yes vote and won narrowly amid allegations of vote rigging.

After taking the oath, Erdogan plans to visit the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern, secular, Turkish Republic.

The president will sit at the top of a vertical power structure marked by a slimmed-down government with 16 ministries instead of 26 and multiple bodies reporting to him.

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, will be subsumed into the foreign ministry.

Under the new system, Erdogan leads the state's executive branch and has the right to appoint and dismiss vice-presidents, a newly introduced position, as well as ministers, high-level officials and senior judges - without parliamentary approval.

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Together with the officers and guests of the ceremony, some 10,000 people are expected to take part.

His inauguration at the 1,150-room presidential palace will be attended by 22 presidents and 28 prime ministers and parliament speakers, among others, state News Agency, Anadolu, reported.

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is on the guest list as is Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar, Turkey's closest ally in the Middle East.

Current Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu could, in theory, continue in his job but reports have said Erdogan may choose his spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, or even spy chief Hakan Fidan to succeed him.

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.

Erdogan has been the president of Turkey since 2014.

The president said in the previous days that there will not be any members or parliamentarians of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the new cabinet, hinting that it will be made up of former politicians and bureaucrats.

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