Erdogan prepares for Turkish presidency after historic poll triumph

2014-08-11 03:52:34 | Al Muslim News
Erdogan prepares for Turkish presidency after historic poll triumph


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday prepared to take Turkey to a promised "new era" when he assumes the presidency in just over two weeks, after vanquishing his election rivals in a historic poll victory. Erdogan vowed to build a "new Turkey" and reconcile a divided country as he took to the balcony of his party headquarters in Ankara to give a triumphant midnight speech before tens of thousands of supporters. But analysts have warned both he and Turkey may face turbulent times ahead as he prepares to beef up the powers of the president, which in recent years has been a largely ceremonial role. Erdogan has served as premier since 2003, a period in which he has sought to modernise Turkey and take a more assertive position on the international stage. He could now serve two five year presidential terms, staying in power until 2024.Sunday´s polls were the first direct presidential elections in Turkish history -- previously the head of state was chosen by parliament -- and Erdogan has said he will be a "people´s president." "The Turkish people wrote history yesterday," declared the pro-Erdogan daily Sabah, with a picture of Erdogan giving the balcony speech with his hand clasped to his heart. He will be inaugurated as president on August 28 and attention now will turn to who becomes the next prime minister to take the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) into 2015 legislative elections. Also closely watched will be the future of outgoing president Abdullah Gul, a co-founder of the AKP with Erdogan, who has taken a distance from the premier and is keeping his future plans tightly under wraps..

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