Erdogan flexes his new muscle with a cabinet of arch-loyalists

Erdogan flexes his new muscle with a cabinet of arch-loyalists

The new system was agreed in a bitterly fought 2017 referendum, but the changes have been vehemently denounced by the opposition.

Under the new system, the post of prime minister has been scrapped and the president selects his own cabinet, regulates ministries and can remove civil servants - all without parliamentary approval.

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

Erdogan took the oath in the capital Ankara, at the Grand National Assembly, chaired by Acting Parliament Speaker Durmus Yilmaz.

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.

Erdogan's supporters see the changes as just reward for a leader who has put Islamic values at the core of public life, championed the pious working classes and overseen years of strong economic growth.

"As president, I swear upon my honor and integrity, before the great Turkish nation and history, to work with all my power to protect and exalt the glory and honor of the Republic of Turkey", Erdogan said in his speech to Parliament after being sworn in.

"After backtracking on his own words that he would never travel overseas, President Edgar Lungu chose to miss the AU Head of States Summit in Mauritania which was making continental decisions, which decisions will also affect Zambia", Mr Chipenzi 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.

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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.

Erdogan said he would publicize his cabinet picks later on Monday. Erdogan has been often criticized by investors for weakening the power of the central bank and interfering in its decisions.

Investors were waiting to see whether cabinet appointees would include individuals seen as market-friendly, and particularly whether Mehmet Simsek, now deputy prime minister, would continue to oversee the economy.

"We will take our country much further by solving structural problems of our economy", he said on Saturday, referring to high interest rates, inflation and the current account deficit.

Under his leadership Ankara started accession talks with the European Union, which stalled amid EU criticism of Turkey's human rights.

What does this mean for the United States?

State television channel TRT broadcast Erdogan's described Monday's swearing-in as the "first day of the new Turkey". After his election victory two weeks ago, Erdogan said he would spare no effort to spur economic growth.

"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.

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