Türkiye: After being sworn in, Erdogan calls for 'peace'

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reappointed as head of Turkey on Sunday, was sworn in on Saturday in Ankara for a new five-year term and will announce the composition of his government in stride

Türkiye: After being sworn in, Erdogan calls for 'peace'

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reappointed as head of Turkey on Sunday, was sworn in on Saturday in Ankara for a new five-year term and will announce the composition of his government in stride. The head of state, re-elected on May 28 with 52% of the vote, was sworn in. "As President, I swear to protect the existence and independence of the state, the integrity of the homeland, the unconditional sovereignty of the nation, the rule of law (and) the principle of a republic secular” as conceived by Atatürk, the “father of the Turks”, said the president known for defending Islamo-conservative positions.

He is a conciliatory head of state as never before who, from his gigantic presidential palace on an outlying hill in Ankara, asked his opponents to "find a way to make peace". "Let's put aside the resentments and anger of this election period," he said to an audience of foreign heads of state and government, whom he greeted by name, one by one. "We expect the opposition to act with a sense of responsibility for Turkey's well-being and democracy", he continued before asking "parties" but also "journalists, writers , to civil society, to artists (to) reconcile with the national will". Not to mention the tens of thousands of representatives of all these categories who are behind bars.

The opposition deputies had also remained seated when the assembly rose after the oath and the speech of the Head of State, promising among other things "to assume his duty with impartiality". In torrential rain - a harbinger of plenty in Turkey - Erdogan walked from parliament to Ataturk's mausoleum from where he briefly hailed "a new era", pledging "to bring earthquake victims home. them as soon as possible." At least 50,000 people died in the February 6 disaster that left millions homeless in the south of the country, 3 million of whom are displaced. Then he returned to the sumptuous presidential palace that he had built and where he will give a gala dinner to his guests, including Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, installed in the first row.

Turkey, which has maintained its veto on Sweden's entry into the Atlantic Alliance for thirteen months, is being courted to agree to lift it by – or during – the Organization's summit in Vilnius in July. “Clear message to our Swedish friends! Respect your commitments […] and take concrete measures in the fight against terrorism. The rest will follow," current Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu tweeted Thursday evening. Despite an amended Constitution and a new anti-terrorism law, Ankara still blames Sweden for harboring Kurdish refugees whom it calls "terrorists".

Stockholm also authorized a demonstration on Sunday on the theme "No to NATO, no Erdogan laws in Sweden", organized in particular by associations supporting Kurdish armed groups in Syria. Another burning issue, the list of ministers which will be announced in the evening, after the festivities, should give an idea of ​​the orientations adopted by the Head of State to redress the economy in crisis.

For this arduous task, the name of a recognized expert, Mehmet Simsek, has been circulating insistently for several days. Former Minister of Finance (2009-2015) then Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Economy (until 2018), Simsek, 56, a former economist at the American bank Merrill Lynch, would be responsible for restoring a little orthodoxy in order to to restore investor confidence.

In addition to inflation at more than 40%, encouraged by the steady decline in interest rates, the national currency was in free fall to more than 20.88 Turkish liras for the dollar on Friday (22.5 for the euro) despite billions dollars sunk during the campaign to delay its sinking.

According to the Turkish media, more than twenty Heads of State and Government and forty-five foreign ministers will attend the ceremonies which will end with a dinner at the gigantic presidential palace built by the Head of State on a hill in away from the center of the capital. Among the crowd of traditional allies, the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian will take his place alongside the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev and the Prime Ministers of Hungary, Viktor Orban – who is also reluctant to open the doors of NATO to Sweden – and of Qatar, Mohammed ben Abderrahmane al-Thani, who were among the first to congratulate him on his re-election after twenty years in power.

Armenia and Turkey have never officially established diplomatic relations and their common border has been closed since the 1990s, but a rapprochement has been initiated since the beginning of 2022, despite Ankara's open support for Baku on the issue. of Nargorny-Karabakh which opposes Yerevan to Azerbaijan.

Erdogan, forced for the first time to a second round, obtained 52.18% of the votes against 47.82% for his opponent, the social democrat Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, according to the official results published Thursday, at the end of a bitter campaign which leaves the country polarized between the two camps. The Parliament, elected on May 14 at the same time as the first round of the presidential election was held, took up residence on Friday in Ankara: the president's AKP party and its allies hold the majority of the 600 seats there.

After his swearing in Parliament, the Head of State was to gather at the mausoleum of the founder of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, before the formal ceremonies and the big dinner in the evening.