Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's first executive president

Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's first executive president

The swearing-in ceremony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking place in Ankara.

At 16:30 local time (coincides with Moscow time ) Erdogan took the oath of office at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (parliament). Then, according to tradition, he will go to Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, where he will leave a memorable entry in the distinguished visitors’ book.

After that, an official ceremony to mark the transition from the parliamentary to presidential form of government will be held in the presidential palace at 18:00 followed by a gala dinner attended by the leaders of more than twenty countries. The Russian delegation will be led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Erdgogan will announce the cabinet at 21:00, promising to make appointments from outside parliament and to slim down his ministerial team to 16 from more than 20.

The president will be able to select his own cabinet, regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval.

Turkey held a referendum on presidential powers in April, 2017. Narrowly approved by voters, the constitutional amendments abolished the office of prime minister and allowed the president to be a member of a political party, appoint unelected vice-presidents, and have a greater say in appointing judges to the highest judicial board in the country, as well as issuing decrees with the force of law.

"We are speeding up the functioning of the state and making it more efficient by merging institutions that do similar work and dissolving those which are idle," Erdogan told party officials in his first major speech since the elections.

"We are putting together a cabinet with ministers who are not from the party," he noted, adding this would give them the "opportunity to view events in a more objective way". 

The early presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Turkey on June 24. The country’s incumbent leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the presidential race in the first round having garnered 52.59% of the vote. His key rival, a candidate nominated by the People’s Republican Party, secured 30.64% of the vote. The People’s Alliance formed by the ruling Justice and Development Party and the Nationalist Movement Party has secured most seats in national parliament with 53.6% of the vote.

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