Turkey's army may come under authority of defence ministry -Erdogan

Daniel Fowler
July 12, 2018

On July 9, Erdogan was sworn in and appointed a new 16-member Cabinet, including his son-in-law Berat Albayrak as treasury and finance minister.

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.

Erdogan, who has transformed Turkey by allowing Islam to play a greater role in public life and boosting the country's worldwide stature, will take his oath nearly two years after defeating a bloody attempted coup.

"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.

Another eight distinct bodies reporting to Erdogan will cover national issues: state auditing, national security, intelligence, armed forces, defence industry, religion, communications and budget. Mevlut Cavusoglu has retained the post of Foreign Minister, Suleyman Soylu - the post of Interior Minister, Abdulhamit Gul - the post of Minister of Justice.

In his message, the King said that "this re-election is a testament to the renewed confidence of the Turkish people" in the president's efforts "to advance, develop and strengthen Turkey's position" internationally. Under controversial constitutional reforms approved by a referendum a year ago, parliament has been weakened and the post of prime minister abolished.

After the swearing-in ceremony, Mr Erdogan visited the mausoleum of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk before proceeding to the Presidential Complex to make his inaugural speech.

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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 will this week immediately turn to foreign policy, visiting northern Cyprus and Azerbaijan, followed by more challenging encounters at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels where he will meet US President Donald Trump and other leaders. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy".

"Albayrak becoming the finance minister is not a good sign, especially because of his close relationship with President Erdogan".

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi were due to attend the ceremony.

The state anthems of Turkey and Azerbaijan were played.

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.

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

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