Türkiye's Erdogan sworn in for 3rd term as president

World Saturday 03/June/2023 18:08 PM
By: DW
Türkiye's Erdogan sworn in for 3rd term as president

Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in for his third consecutive term on Saturday after winning a runoff election last weekend.

The inauguration in the capital, Ankara, will be followed by a lavish ceremony attended by world leaders as well as NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

Erdogan's new five-year mandate will allow him to continue pursuing an increasingly authoritarian programme domestically while charting an independent path as a regional military power amid global crises like Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the conflict in Syria.

His new government will also oversee efforts to rebuild after a devastating series of earthquakes in February killed 50,000 people and leveled entire cities in the southeast of the country — a disaster he was widely criticized over.

What's on the agenda?
Erdogan swore an oath in parliament at 3pm local time (1200 UTC) and received his mandate from temporary speaker Devlet Bahceli.

"I, as president, swear upon my honour and integrity before the great Turkish nation and history to safeguard the existence and independence of the state ... to abide by the constitution, the rule of law, democracy, the principles and reforms of Ataturk, and the principles of the secular republic," said Erdogan, who is Türkiye's longest-serving leader.

Some politicians from opposition parties did not stand up as Erdogan took the oath, as per parliamentary rules, in an act of protest.

Afterwards, he will attend a ceremony at the Presidential Palace followed by a dinner attended by 21 heads of state and 13 prime ministers, as well as high-level officials from other countries like the United States and China.

Leaders set to attend include Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmud.

Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also confirmed he would attend, in what is the latest sign of a thaw between the two arch foes, which have never established diplomatic relations.

The Turkish leader is expected to announce his new Cabinet after the dinner.

Stoltenberg eyes NATO talks
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is due to attend the ceremony, and he will also hold bilateral talks with Erdogan on Sunday.

Türkiye has been in the spotlight after Finland and Sweden moved to join NATO in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine.

Ankara was among the last NATO members to ratify Finland's membership in March. But it has held out on allowing Sweden to join over Stockholm's reluctance to extradite exiled members of Kurdish groups that Türkiye claims to be "terrorists" with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The NATO secretary general previously said his visit to Türkiye aimed to "ensure the fastest possible accession of Sweden" to the military alliance, ideally during the next leaders' summit in July.

"My message is that Sweden has delivered, and the time has come to ratify Sweden," Stoltenberg told reporters on Thursday.

Stoltenberg will be joined by former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt.

Cabinet to be announced
Erdogan is set to announce his new Cabinet later on Saturday night.

Key among his priorities will be addressing Türkiye's economic troubles and a cost-of-living crisis that analysts blame on the Turkish president's unorthodox economic policies.

Media outlets including Bloomberg and Reuters have reported that former Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, a former Merrill Lynch economist known for his more conventional approach to the markets, is likely to play a role in the new government.

"Erdogan's government looks like it will pursue an orthodox stabilisation programme," Alp Erinc Yeldan, professor of economics at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, told the AFP news agency.

"What we see now is that the news about Mehmet Simsek and his team is greeted with enthusiasm by the markets."

In his victory speech last Sunday, Erdogan said inflation, which hit a 24-year high of 85% last year before easing to 44% last month, was Türkiye's most urgent issue.