Turkish lawmakers take oath for parliament under new system

Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures during a group meeting of AK Party at the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara, Turkey on July 07, 2018. (AA)

Six hundred parliamentarians from five political parties took their oaths of office in Ankara. Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be sworn in as president for the first time under the new executive presidential system on July 9.

Turkish lawmakers have taken their oaths of office following last month’s elections that have shifted the country to a presidential system.

It was the first gathering of parliament since the June 24th elections. The ceremony will be followed by President Erdogan’s inauguration in two days time.

Among the 600 parliamentarians from five political parties are 295 lawmakers from the AK Party and 49 belong to the allied MHP.

Opposition lawmakers are from the CHP, HDP and Iyi party.

New Cabinet to be announced Monday

On Monday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be sworn in as president for the first time under the new executive presidential system.

Addressing a meeting of the governing AK Party’s parliamentary group on Saturday, Erdogan said initial steps for the transition to Turkey’s new presidential system have been completed, including changes related to the Cabinet ministers, and the re-defined management of some institutions and general directors.

“On Monday, the first presidential decree will be issued soon after the swearing-in ceremony, and the reorganized presidential Cabinet will be announced that same evening,” he said.

Erdogan added that for the first time the Cabinet will include figures unaffiliated to any party.

“We will speed up the work of the state and make it [more] effective by merging institutions that do similar work and eliminating institutions that have become dysfunctional,” he added.

The swearing-in ceremony will be held at 4 pm local time (1300 GMT) at the parliament in capital Ankara, a source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Later, a ceremony would be held at the presidential complex to mark the country’s transition to the presidential system of government.

The June 24 vote marked Turkey’s transition to an executive presidential system of government, doing away with the prime minister’s post, among other changes.

Erdogan also said the Turkish parliament opened on April 23, 1920, with prayers in Ankara’s historic Haci Bayram Mosque.

“We will go to Haci Bayram for Friday prayers before our first Cabinet meeting. We will pray and then we will hold our first Cabinet meeting.”

Erdogan will announce the first Cabinet under the new presidential system on Monday at 9 pm (GMT 1800).

The number of lawmakers has increased by 50 seats and a majority in parliament now requires 301 votes.