VOICE OF EUROPE: Turkey's Erdogan Begins New Term With Broader Powers

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Turkey's incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in for a new term with new executive powers on Monday.

"As president, I swear upon my honor and integrity, before the great Turkish nation and history, to work with all my power to protect and exalt the glory and honor of the Republic of Turkey and fulfill the duties I have taken on with impartiality," Erdogan said in a ceremony at the parliament in Ankara, which was broadcast live on television.

Erdogan is expected to attend a grand ceremony at his residence later Monday to mark his transition into a new executive presidency with expanded powers, which critics have called a one-man regime.

Turkish media said Erdogan won about 53 percent of the vote in last month's election. Muharrem Ince of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) was in second place with 31 percent.

A 2017 referendum brought changes to the country's political system, abolishing the office of prime minister, while empowering the president to dismiss parliament and appoint ministers and judges.

June's presidential elections were originally scheduled for 2019, but after the Turkish currency plummeted against the dollar earlier this year, the government announced the snap elections, giving candidates only a couple of months to prepare.

The elections have been condemned by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which found that while voters had a genuine choice in the elections, conditions for campaigning were not equal, with Erdogan enjoying "undue advantage, including in excessive coverage by government-affiliated public and private media outlets.”

Erdogan has been ruling Turkey as prime minister or president since 2003.

 

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