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Erdogan Takes on New Powers

Erdogan Takes on New PowersErdogan Takes on New Powers

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday took on greater powers than any Turkish leader for decades as he was sworn in for a second presidential term, naming his son-in-law to the key post of finance minister in a revamped cabinet.

Erdogan, who has already transformed Turkey in 15 years of rule, took his oath of office in parliament under the new presidential system denounced by opponents as not being inclusive, AFP reported.

Describing the monumental change as a “new beginning”, he vowed at a later ceremony at his vast Ankara presidential palace to be the president of all 81 million Turks. “We have come not to be master but to be servant of our people,” he added.

He then unveiled the first cabinet under the new system, appointing his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, 40, to the crucial post of finance minister, in a move that appeared to rattle markets.

Army chief of staff General Hulusi Akar joined the government as defense minister but Mevlut Cavusoglu kept the post of foreign minister.

Fuat Oktay, a former head of Turkey’s emergencies agency, has been named as the sole vice president, a newly-created post.

Those attending included Ankara’s top allies from Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union but relatively few European figures.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was present, in a new sign of the warm ties between Ankara and Moscow, as was Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

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