Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took the oath of office for a new presidential term Monday, fulfilling a long-held ambition to rule the country he has dominated for the past 15 years with new executive powers.
The changes in the political system, agreed in a controversial 2017 constitutional referendum, mark one of the most radical shifts in modern Turkish history. Erdogan’s presidential powers under his second term in office include a direct appointment of cabinet ministers and other public officials.
The inauguration comes just days after the sacking of more than 18,000 state employees, part of a purge that began after a failed July 2016 coup attempt. Critics have warned that the new constitution allocates unbridled power in the presidency.
"As president, I swear upon my honour and integrity, before the great Turkish nation and history, to work with all my power to protect and exalt the glory and honour 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, reports France 24.