ISTANBUL: Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in on Monday as Turkey’s first executive president, gaining vastly expanded powers and extending his 15-year reign, while pledging to uphold the rule of law and work with impartiality. Erdogan took the oath of office at the Grand National Assembly in Ankara, completing Turkey’s transition from a parliamentary model to an all-powerful presidency. Assigned by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, headed the Sultanate’s delegation at the inauguration ceremony. Erdogan vowed to “remain loyal to the rule of law, to the democratic and secular republic, and to Ataturk’s principles and reforms,” adding that he would perform his duty with “impartiality.” Erdogan is now both the head of state and government, with the prime minister’s post abolished. He has sweeping new powers, including over the judiciary and the ability to rule by decree.
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