Erdoğan took presidency in smooth transition: Turkish PM

Erdoğan took presidency in smooth transition: Turkish PM

Erdoğan took presidency in smooth transition: Turkish PM

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The change of status between the prime minister and the president was a "smooth transition," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Jan. 20, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's taking over of the presidency in the August elections.

“This was a successful test that was conducted in a framework of smooth transition,” Davutoğlu said in a speech titled “Turkey: Discover Potential, Istanbul: Regional Hub, Global Actor Forum,” organized by Borsa Istanbul and the Turkish Exporters Assembly, in cooperation with the Istanbul Financial Center Initiative.

Erdoğan convened a cabinet meeting for the first time on Jan. 19, a political maneuver that has raised concerns among critics that he is pushing ahead to expand the powers of the largely ceremonial presidency.

The cabinet meeting at the presidential palace lasted eight-and-a-half hours, including a break for lunch, with Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç telling reporters that issues ranging from the economy to the situation in Turkey’s restive southeast had been discussed.

Arınç insisted that it would not be a “routine” for Erdoğan to chair cabinet meetings, but also said it could well happen again.

“If the president wants to chair a meeting in the future, that decision can be made. The president can use his constitutional powers whenever he wants,” he said, adding that the next meeting would be held as normal at the prime minister’s office next week.