Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in this Saturday afternoon for a new term as president, which will allow him to add a quarter of a century at the helm of Turkey. After the visit to Atatürk’s mausoleum, a grand inauguration ceremony awaits him at the presidential palace in Ankara, with the presence of twenty-one presidents and thirteen prime ministers. After the gala dinner, the announcement of the new cabinet of ministers is expected, which should give clues about the economic and political course of the Turkish republic, which will be one hundred years old this 2023.
Among the guests at the spectacular presidential palace, built under his government, is the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, who maintains an excellent personal relationship with Erdogan. The Turkish head of state and government has also managed to reunite his Azerbaijani friend, Ilham Aliyev, with his Armenian counterpart, Nikol Pashinyan, despite the fact that neither Turkey nor Azerbaijan maintain diplomatic relations with Armenia.
The first two leaders who congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his victory last Sunday against Kemal Kiliçdaroglu will also be there: the Emir Al Thani of Qatar and the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán. Hungary is the penultimate stumbling block for Sweden to join NATO, which is resisted even more vigorously by Turkey. Symbolically, the outgoing NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, is also at the investiture in Ankara this afternoon.
The Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavusoglu – whose continuity is now in question – has recommended to “Swedish friends” that they “fulfill their commitments and everything will go smoothly”. Stockholm, for its part, has authorized this Sunday a demonstration against joining NATO organized by the Kurdish political exile, who fears becoming the price to be paid by Sweden for its incorporation into the Atlantic Alliance.
Other notable leaders this weekend in Ankara are the South African Cyril Ramaphosa, the Bulgarian Rumen Radev and the Pakistani Shehbaz Sharif. The latter listened to the leaden inauguration speech sitting next to the Armenian Pashinyan, neither of them looking particularly comfortable. In few countries is there as much sympathy for Turkey, Azerbaijan and their respective presidents as in Pakistan.
It should be said that, unlike five years ago, the ceremony took place indoors due to the downpours that had been falling on Ankara. For once, the palace did not seem overly large, with a hall packed with hundreds of dignitaries and guests. Among them, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, in a privileged place. Ukrainian nationalism owes you one.
On the other hand, the Muslim cleric – and state official, who runs Diyanet, the organization that since Kemalist times has given the Friday speech in all the mosques in Turkey. Next to him, the footballer Mesut Özil, a declared admirer of Erdogan (as, on the other hand, two out of three Turkish immigrants in Germany, who usually vote Social Democratic or even Green in the Bundestag).
After the gala dinner, Erdogan will announce who his new ministers are
“Peace at home, peace in the world,” Erdogan said, citing Mustafa Kemal, whose ideals of secularism and national sovereignty he had vowed to adhere to hours earlier in parliament. The day before, in the same chamber, there was a certain amount of tension, recalling that the electorate is practically divided in half. The defeated candidate, Kiliçdaroglu, watched the session from the side, since he is not a deputy. He something that, in the absence of immunity, could complicate his future, since he has several open cases “for insults to the head of state.”
On the other hand, a deputy elected by the Turkish Workers’ Party (TIP), Can Atalay, was unable to collect his deputy certificate because he was in jail. Also in prison is the former secretary general of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, who has just announced his withdrawal from politics, upset by the silence of his party when he proposed to run again in the elections from his cell. .
Outside the palatial halls, not only was the rain falling or threatening to fall, but also the lira, which hit a new low on Friday. For this reason, the most anticipated announcement after the desserts was the name of the new head of Economy, which could be Mehmet Simsek, who was finance minister for a decade, until 2015, and then economic vice president, until 2018. Although Erdogan appreciates his Humble origins in deep Anatolia, Wall Street and the City of London value his previous work in both places, for UBS and Merrill Lynch, respectively.
Also arousing expectation is the possible appointment as foreign minister of the superspy Hakan Fidan, the director of the intelligence agency MIT, of Kurdish origin, who played a key role in the failure of the 2016 coup attempt.