Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been sworn in as president of Türkiye for the third time. Photo/Ankara
ANKARA – Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in for a third term as President of Türkiye on Saturday local time. He vowed to serve “impartially” after winning a historic second-round election to extend his two decades in power.
The parliamentary inauguration will be followed by a lavish ceremony at the presidential palace in the capital Ankara which will be attended by dozens of world leaders.
Turkey’s transformative but divisive leader won the second round of elections on May 28 against a strong opposition coalition, despite an economic crisis and anger over last February’s earthquake that killed more than 50,000 people.
Erdogan won 52.18 percent of the vote while his secular rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu got 47.82 percent, according to official results.
“As president, I swear on my honor and integrity, before the great Turkish nation to work with all my might to protect the existence and independence of the country and to fulfill my duties impartially,” Erdogan said in parliament after a ceremony outside the building where he was saluting soldiers under the pouring rain as quoted from France 24, Sunday (4/6/2023).
Supporters in parliament gave Erdogan a minute of applause after he was sworn in, while some opposition lawmakers refused to stand up.
In his oath, Erdogan also promised not to deviate from the rule of law and secular principles of the republic that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded 100 years ago.
Turkey’s longest-serving leader now faces significant immediate challenges in his third term, including a slowing economy and tensions with the West.
“From a geopolitical point of view, the election will strengthen Turkey’s recent pursuit of an independent foreign policy,” said Matt Gertken, chief geopolitical strategist at BCA Research.
“This policy aims to derive maximum economic and strategic benefits from eastern and autocratic countries while still preventing a permanent break with western democracies,” he said.