Erdogan writes new chapter in Turkish rule book

ISTANBUL • Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has ushered in the new, executive presidential system he had long campaigned for by putting his son-in-law in charge of the economy and promising greater overhaul of a country he has dominated for 15 years.

Hours after he was sworn in with sweeping new powers on Monday, Mr Erdogan named Mr Berat Albayrak as the Treasury and Finance Minister in his new Cabinet.

The announcement - and the absence of familiar, market-friendly ministers from the Cabinet - helped to send the lira sharply lower.

Meanwhile, a presidential decree in the Official Gazette yesterday said the president would appoint the central bank governor, deputies and monetary policy committee members for a four-year period.

Mr Erdogan, the most popular and divisive leader in recent Turkish history, has now formally become the most powerful leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the republic from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.

Under the new system, the post of prime minister has been scrapped and the president selects his own Cabinet, regulates ministries and can remove civil servants - all without parliamentary approval.

Mr Erdogan has said the powerful executive presidency is vital to driving economic growth and to ensure security after a failed 2016 coup. But Western allies and rights group decry what they say is increasing authoritarianism and a push towards one-man rule.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2018, with the headline 'Erdogan writes new chapter in Turkish rule book'. Print Edition | Subscribe