[QODLink]
Middle East

Erdogan sworn in as new Turkish president

Former PM extends his more than decade-long domination of country's politics as opponents warn of authoritarian rule.

Last updated: 28 Aug 2014 16:17
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Erdogan, who became prime minister in 2003, won the country's presidential election on August 10 [AP]

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's outgoing prime minister, has been sworn in as president during a ceremony in the capital Ankara, extend his more than a decade-long domination of the country's political scene.

Erdogan, 60, took his oath of office on Thursday, ushering in a new era for Turkey, where he is expected to push for a new constitution and seek to further transform the country with development projects.

Taking over Erdogan's post of prime minister is Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, 55, a longstanding ally who is expected to do little to challenge the president.

Erdogan has made clear he wants to wield genuine executive power as president, unlike recent predecessors in the Cankaya presidential palace who performed a largely ceremonial role.

However, some opponents have warned that the new president will extend what they see as his increasingly authoritarian rule.

From Istanbul, journalist Andrew Finkel told Al Jazeera that Erdogan would likely use his new position to continue exerting control over the way Turkey is run.

He added that one of the main accomplishments of Erdogan's tenure as prime minister has been "to clip the power of the military".

"At one stage, [the military] via the constitutional court was almost intent on closing his party down, tearing him out of office. But he fought back that challenge," he said.

Popular vote

Erdogan, who became prime minister in 2003, won presidential elections on August 10 with almost 52 percent, the first time Turkey has elected its president in a popular vote.

The election was a triumph for Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) after surviving a tumultuous 2013 that saw deadly anti-government protests and corruption allegations against his circle.

He will take over as president from Abdullah Gul, a former close comrade and co-founder of the AKP, who appears now to have fallen out with Erdogan and is expected to play no role in the next government.

Heads of state from a dozen nations in Eastern Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East attended the ceremony, the state Anatolia news agency reported.

But leaders of leading Western states were conspicuous by their absence in a possible sign of suspicion towards Erdogan's authoritarian tendencies. The United States only sent its charge d'affaires to Ankara.

368

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.