Turkey's Erdogan ushers in presidential system, appoints son-in-law finance minister


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan arrives at the parliament to take the oath of office for a new presidential term, in Ankara, Turkey July 9, 2018.

Hours after being sworn in with sweeping new powers as executive president, Erdogan appointed his son-in-law Berat Albayrak to the newly created post of treasury and finance minister on Monday.

Erdogan said, speaking to journalists, Fuat Oktay, who previously headed the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) of the country, was appointed Turkey's Vice-President.

Mr Erdogan has largely ruled by fiat since 2016, when he imposed a state of emergency on the country in response to a failed coup attempt against him.

One day ahead of the inauguration, 18,632 public sector employees were ordered dismissed, including thousands of soldiers and police officers in a new crackdown.

The lira, which has fallen precipitously this year, plunged more than 3% after the leadership decisions were announced on Monday.

"We have come not to be master but to be servant of our people", he added.

The Middle East Technical University students in the July 6 ceremony in Ankara made and carried a long banner printed with a cartoon of animals whose faces resembled Tayyip Erdogan, entitled "The World of Tayyip". The presidency tweeted with the hashtag #NewEraWithErdogan.

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The lira, which is down some 16 percent so far this year and has been battered by concern about Erdogan's drive for lower interest rates, firmed to 4.5160 against the dollar by 1016 GMT, its highest since mid-June. The issue is still polarizing in Turkey.

Under the new decree, Erdogan will decide on the promotion of top army officers including colonels, brigadier generals, admirals and generals in the Turkish armed forces.

Earlier, the government issued a decree adjusting Turkey's laws to the new presidential system that comes into effect with the elections.

Lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) stood up, as is customary, during Erdogan's swearing-in, while opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and Good (IYI) Party lawmakers did not.

He says the changes, the biggest overhaul of governance since the modern Turkish republic was founded from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire nearly a century ago, are needed to drive economic growth and guarantee security.

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.

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.