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Erdogan vows to advance Turkey under new governance system

10 July 2018

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will on Monday go down in history as the 27th and final holder of a post that has existed since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded modern Turkey, and whose origins date back to the Ottoman Empire.

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.

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 election, which he won on June 24.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday evening spoke with his Turkish counterpart, Mr Recep Erdogan, via telephone, and congratulated him over his re-election.

Under the new system, the counting of terms starts afresh, which means he starts his first five-year term on Monday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to be sworn in for his second term as head of the state on Monday, taking on greater powers than any Turkish leader for decades under a new system condemned by opponents as autocratic. "We are leaving behind the system that has in the past cost our country a heavy price in political and economic chaos". For some, it is the coronation of a new Turkey.

But Erdogan faces immediate challenges posed by Ankara's faltering bid to join the European Union and tensions between the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally. The role of prime minister has also been eliminated, and the president will now be able to pick his own Cabinet. The coup was led by military leaders who opposed Erdogan's push to make Turkey more Islamic and less secular.

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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.

"Most powers will be concentrated in his hands, there will no longer be a prime minister, and nearly none of the checks and balances of liberal democracies will be present".

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. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey's relations with its Western allies have been strained by disputes with the United States over military strategy in Syria and by European Union criticism of Ankara's large-scale purges of state institutions, armed forces, police and media following the failed coup.

Erdogan will face immediate challenges posed by an imbalanced if fast-growing economy and foreign policy tensions between the West and Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member.

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

The decree did not state an alternative term length or re-appointment process for the central bank governor, or what new requirements for deputy governors would be.

Erdogan vows to advance Turkey under new governance system