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Erdoğan sworn in as Turkish president with enhanced powers

10 July 2018

In a telephone conversation with President Erdogan Friday evening, President Buhari expressed the hope that the results of the recently held elections will strengthen democracy and lead Turkey towards more economic prosperity.

Abolishing the post of prime minister, the president will now form the government, appoint ministers, vice presidents and high-level bureaucrats, issue decrees, prepare the budget and has the power to impose a state of emergency.

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

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.

On the eve of Monday's inauguration authorities dismissed more than 18,000 state employees - majority from the police and army - in what the government said would be the final decree under emergency rule imposed following a failed 2016 coup.

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

The lira has been battered by concern about Erdogan´s drive for lower interest rates and by comments in May that he planned to take greater control of the economy after the June elections.

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His supporters, however, insist Erdogan deserves to be empowered as president, saying he has steered Turkey through its years of economic progress while rewarding working classes in the country.

A former Istanbul mayor, Erdogan has been at the helm of Turkey since 2003 as prime minister and then the first directly elected president since 2014.

"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.

Those changes concentrate more power in the hands of the president. However, major Western leaders would not be in attendance, according to Reuters. Erdogan's restructuring is the most significant adjustment of the country's political system since the formal establishment of modern Turkey. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy". Erdoĝan has repeatedly clashed with strategic allies such as the USA and the European Union in recent years over the war in Syria, Turkey's accession to the EU, human rights abuses by Ankara, Europe's failure to support Turkey during the coup attempt, and rising Islamophobia in Europe.

Inflation surged last month above 15 percent, its highest level in more than a decade, despite interest rate hikes of 500 basis points by the central bank since April.

Turkey also faces a widening current account deficit making it reliant on weak foreign investment to plug the gap.

Scrapping the term would remove a shield that helps ensure the bank's independence from politicians, former central banker Ugur Gurses said. A senior adviser to Erdogan later said that governors would still be appointed for a five-year term.

Erdoğan sworn in as Turkish president with enhanced powers