Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s third term has officially begun. The Turkish president was sworn in today as head of state after winning a historic runoff election and extending his 20-year rule for another five years. In the May 28 runoff, Erdoğan obtained 52.18% of the vote while his rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu 47.82%. “Over the next five years, we will continue to work hard to achieve our vision of the century for Turkey. May Allah illuminate our path,” Erdogan said. Which he then promised to introduce a new “civil and liberal” constitution: “We will embrace all 85 million people, regardless of their political opinions, origins or sect”.
After the inauguration in the parliament, there was a ceremony at the Presidential Complex attended by 21 heads of state, 13 prime ministers, as well as parliamentary and ministerial representatives and representatives of international organizations, including the Organization of Turkish States (OTS), NATO and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Erdoğan officially begins this new political season which he renamed as “Turkey’s century” through the oath in the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye. The latter is the unicameral parliamentary body of the Turkish Republic, the only body with legislative prerogatives under the Constitution. In this place, he receives his mandate from the temporary President of the Grand National Assembly, Devlet Bahçeli. After the ceremony, Erdoğan visited Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. This passage – perhaps the most important of the day – has a highly symbolic value: from the father of the homeland to the father of the “new Turkey”. Erdoğan’s rhetoric in recent years has focused heavily on this concept, Yeni Türkiye, in Turkish: an expression used in his rallies to summarize how the homeland has been reborn under his eyes and in line with his principles. The strong government propaganda was based on rebirth understood as grandeur, inextricably linked to traditional religious values.
The grand finale with the inauguration ceremony at the presidential complex. It must be said that the presidential palace, a symbol of the Turkish president’s delusions of grandeur, has been the subject of much controversy. It is located – not surprisingly – in the Atatürk Forest Farm, a place that not only bears the name of the father of modern Turkey but is also a personal donation that Atatürk made to the nation. Also, as Ataürk Forest Farm is a registered conservation area, the courts at the time immediately ordered its construction to stop, which obviously did not happen. Today it is the architectural symbol of the presidential system associated with Erdoğan himself.
Finally, later in the evening, the president is expected to unveil his new cabinet. The media speculate that the former finance minister, Mehmet Şimşek, could play an important role. The worrying economic crisis in the country is the first major obstacle that the new Turkey will have to face by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
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