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article imageTurkey's Erdogan chairs first cabinet meeting after reelection

By AFP     Jul 13, 2018 in World

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday chaired his first cabinet meeting since he won elections last month endowing him with sweeping new powers, with pressing economic challenges topping the agenda.

Erdogan vowed to "work tirelessly to build a Turkey that can look to the future with confidence", at a ceremony in the former parliament shortly before the cabinet meeting at his vast presidential palace in Ankara.

The strongman was sworn in for a second presidential term on Monday under the new system that grants the head of state executive powers while abolishing the post of prime minister.

He hailed the transition as a "new beginning" in the country's history but opponents denounced it as a drift toward one-man rule.

Erdogan this week unveiled the new cabinet, giving his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, 40, the crucial post of finance minister.

Albayrak's rapid promotion from the energy ministry took traders by surprise as market-friendly faces like outgoing deputy premier Mehmet Simsek were not present in the new cabinet.

In an apparent sign that the economy is an urgent issue for the government, Albayrak said: "We have determined some steps to be taken in line with macro-economic objectives," in a message on Twitter.

Albayrak said his economic policy would be guided by "budget discipline, a single digit inflation rate and structural reforms."

Financial markets are sceptical about Albayrak's appointment which prompted a new battering for the Turkish currency and assets.

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