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New Term, Sweeping New Powers For Erdogan As He Takes Oath Of Office

July 09, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been sworn in to a new term, assuming sweeping new powers condemned by opponents as a recipe for one-man rule and promising a "new era" for the country of 80 million people.

Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than 15 years as prime minister and then president, took the oath of office on July 9.

"I swear upon my honour and integrity, before the great Turkish nation and history, to work with all my power to protect and exalt the glory and honour of the Republic of Turkey," Erdogan told parliament.

Erdogan, 64, was reelected on June 24 with 52.5 percent of the vote in an election that international monitors said lacked "equal" conditions.

The vote followed a controversial 2017 referendum that transformed the government from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.

The changes will give Erdogan vast new powers, including over the judiciary, and the ability to rule by decree.

His closest contender in the election Muharrem Ince, said after the vote that Turkey has "switched literally to a one-man regime."

When he is sworn in, he will become both head of state and government, with the prime minister's post abolished and the parliament stripped of much of its power.

"Turkey is embarking on a new era with the presidential oath ceremony," Erdogan said on July 8.

Erdogan's term is for five years, and there is a two-term limit on the office of the president for now, so he could stay in power until 2028.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/turkey-s-erdogan -to-be-sworn-in-for-new-more-powerful- presidential-term/29351509.html

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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