Erdogan's presidential rule begins with son-in-law as finance minister

Sergei Bobylev  TASS

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been sworn in as president of Turkey after his election victory last month which allowed him to keep his post with increased powers.

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.

Separately on Tuesday, a president decree carried by the Turkish Official Gazette appointed ground forces Commander General Yasar Guler as the new chief of the general staff, replacing Akar.

But his opponents fear that his new role as executive president will destroy Turkish democracy.

The appointment of Albayrak, the husband of Erdogan's elder daughter Esra and formerly energy minister, came as a surprise, with no place for Mehmet Simsek, the former deputy prime minister for the economy trusted by markets. Turkey's lira, which has fallen more than 20% in the year so far, weakened on Monday, flipping into negative territory following the news of the central bank term removal.

The only European Union leaders are set to be Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and Hungary's strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The lira, which has lost almost a fifth of its value against the dollar this year, dropped almost 3 per cent to 4.74 to the USA currency after the cabinet announcement.

Mevlut Cavusoglu will remain as Turkey's foreign minister and Suleyman Soylu as the country's interior minister.

Four recent graduates of a top Turkish university have been arrested for displaying a cartoon mocking Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at their graduation ceremony, according to the state-run Anadolu agency.

The currency has been battered by concern about Erdogan's drive for lower interest rates and comments he made in May saying he planned to take greater control of the economy after the June 24 elections.

Just as Ataturk transformed an impoverished nation at the eastern edge of Europe into a secular, Western-facing republic, Erdogan has fought to bring Islamic values back into public life and lift millions of pious Turks-long ostracised by the secular elite-out of poverty.

Thus Turkey officially changed the form of government from a parliamentary to a presidential Republic.

Earlier upon his arrival at the Esenboga International Airport, His Highness the Amir was welcomed by Turkey's Minister of Youth and Sports Osman Askin Bak and Qatar's Ambassador to Turkey Salem bin Mubarak al- Shafi along with members of the Qatari embassy in Ankara. "In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalized autocracy".

The five-year term served as a sort of "shield" for the central bank, helping to ensure its independence from politicians, said Ugur Gurses, a former central banker.

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