Erdogan names Cabinet for Turkish presidency with new powers

Sergei Bobylev  TASS

Sergei Bobylev TASS

Erdoğan will also have the power to appoint senior members of the judiciary and to issue decrees with the force of law.

"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.

The process began in a contentious referendum past year when the executive presidency was voted in and last month's snap elections solidified Erdogan's power, which he won with 52.6 percent of the vote.

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

He said Turkey would go further in every area in the new era, including democracy, fundamental rights, economy and large investments.

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Those attending the ceremony at the presidential palace on Monday evening will include Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, in a new sign of the warm ties between Ankara and Moscow. Erdogan visited early Tuesday Azerbaijan and then the breakaway northern part of ethnically divided Cyprus, making his first foreign trips since being sworn in as Turkey's first executive president with sweeping powers.

The event at parliament in the capital, Ankara, concludes the country's transition from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency, in line with the constitutional changes approved in a referendum previous year.

The executive system of government that began with Erdogan's swearing-in scraps Turkey's parliamentary governance structure and boosts the powers of the formerly ceremonial presidency.

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

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

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Observers had speculated that the purge might ease after the elections, but on Sunday the government issued a decree dismissing 18,000 state employees including teachers, police and military officers over alleged links to terrorist groups.

The former Chief of the General Staff, Hulusi Akar has been appointed as the Minister of Defense, and Berat Albayrak, who previously headed the country's Ministry of Energy has been appointed as the Minister of Finance and Treasury.

"INSTITUTIONALISED AUTOCRACY " Marc Pierini, a former European Union ambassador to Turkey and visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, said Erdogan´s new powers would effectively make him a "super-executive president".

Erdogan said on Saturday that he would tackle "the structural economic problems" of high interest rates and inflation and a wide current account deficit. Ties with the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners also frayed, but Turkey remains crucial for any hope of stability in Syria and Iraq and curbing refugee flows to Europe.

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