Turkey’s Erdogan to name cabinet as signals action on economy

Tayyip Erdogan emerged triumphant from his biggest electoral challenge in 15 years, giving him the sweeping executive powers he has long sought and extending his grip on the nation of 81 million until at least 2023. (Reuters)
Updated 07 July 2018

Turkey’s Erdogan to name cabinet as signals action on economy

ANKARA: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday he would name the cabinet he has selected on Monday, as he renewed a promise to tackle what he called the “structural problems” of the country’s economy.
Moving to reinforce his authority in his first parliamentary speech since being re-elected on June 24, he said Turkey would enter a new era when he takes the presidential oath on Monday.
Erdogan emerged triumphant from his biggest electoral challenge in 15 years, giving him the sweeping executive powers he has long sought and extending his grip on the nation of 81 million until at least 2023.
“As the first president of the new executive presidential system, I will announce the cabinet at 9pm on Monday... God willing, we will hold our first cabinet meeting on Friday,” he told deputies of his AK Party.
Under the changes, the post of prime minister will be scrapped, and Erdogan will select his own cabinet and regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval.
Erdogan said on Friday he would appoint ministers from outside parliament.
In Saturday’s speech, he also said he would tackle high interest rates and inflation and a wide current account deficit.
“We will take our country much further by solving (these) structural problems of our economy,” he said.
A self-confessed enemy of high interest rates, Erdogan said during campaigning for last month’s ballot that he would exercise greater control over monetary policy once re-elected.
That fanned investors’ concerns about the independence of the country’s central bank, which has been struggling to combat double-digit inflation and a plummeting lira currency.
Erdogan took 52.5 percent of the vote in the presidential election. His AK Party took 42.5 percent of the parliamentary vote and its nationalist allies beat expectations with 11.1 percent, giving their alliance a legislative majority.
“With the power granted to us by the new presidential system, we will be getting quicker and stronger results,” Erdogan said.
New members of the Turkish parliament are scheduled to take their oaths of office on Saturday in the new 600-seat assembly.


Turkey sends armed drone to northern Cyprus amid gas dispute

Updated 54 min 12 sec ago

Turkey sends armed drone to northern Cyprus amid gas dispute

  • The breakaway northern Cyprus government approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles
  • A recent agreement between Turkey and Libya claims extensive areas of sea for Turkey in the Mediterranean

FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus: A Turkish military drone was delivered to northern Cyprus on Monday amid growing tensions over Turkey’s deal with Libya that extended its claims to the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.
The Bayraktar TB2 drone landed in Gecitkale Airport in Famagusta around 0700 GMT, an AFP correspondent said, after the breakaway northern Cyprus government approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles.
It followed a deal signed last month between Libya and Turkey that could prove crucial in the scramble for recently discovered gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.
The agreement claimed extensive areas of the sea for Turkey, undercutting claims by Greece and the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, which runs the southern part of the island.
Analysts say Turkey was pushing back against rival efforts to claim exploration rights in the area after Cyprus, Greece, Egypt and Israel excluded Turkey from a new “East Mediterranean Gas Forum” that also includes Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian territories.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is only recognized by Turkey, said approval for the drone was given last week “in light of the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean region” and “to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the TRNC and Turkey.”
The TRNC’s transport minister, Tolga Atakan, said Turkish drones were partly a response to the acquisition of Israeli drones by Cyprus in October to monitor its exclusive economic zone.
Cyprus has been divided since Turkish troops occupied the northern third of the island in 1974 in response to a coup sponsored by the Greek military junta.
Turkey already has two drilling vessels in the eastern Mediterranean despite the threat of European Union sanctions.
Ankara does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member, and says the TRNC has the right to explore around the entire island.