Turkey's Erdogan to take oath, name new-look cabinet



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By Huseyin Hayatsever

ANKARA, June 3 (Reuters) -Tayyip Erdogan was set to be sworn in as Turkey's president on Saturday after winning re-election last weekend and will later name his cabinet, which is expected to signal a change to his unorthodox economic programme.

Turkey's longest serving leader, Erdogan garnered 52.2% support in the May 28 runoff vote. His election victory upended the predictions of most opinion polls and came despite a cost-of-living crisis that was seen to have dampened his prospects.

His new five-year mandate allows Erdogan to pursue what have been increasingly authoritarian policies that have polarised the country, a NATO member, and strengthened its position as a regional military power.

The new parliament convened on Friday and Erdogan will officially start his new term by taking his oath on Saturday at around 3 p.m. (1200 GMT) in the general assembly in Ankara.

That will be followed by a ceremony at the presidential palace attended by high-level officials from 78 countries and international organisations, including NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

In the evening, Erdogan is set to name ministers. He was almost certain to include former economy chief Mehmet Simsek in his new cabinet, Reuters reported earlier this week, which would signal a potential return to more economic orthodoxy including eventual interest rate hikes.

Simsek was highly regarded by investors when he served as finance minister and deputy prime minister between 2009 and 2018. A key role for him now could mark a departure from years of years of policy that was underpinned by low interest rates despite high inflation, and heavy state control of markets.

Erdogan, 69, became prime minister in 2003 after his AK Party won an election in late 2002 following the worst economic crisis of Turkey since the 1970s.

In 2014 he became the country's first popularly-elected president and was elected again in 2018 after securing new executive powers for the presidency in a 2017 referendum.

The May 14 election and May 28 runoff was pivotal given the opposition had been confident of ousting Erdogan and reversing many of his policies, including proposing sharp interest rate hikes to counter inflation, running at 44% in April.

In his victory speech, Erdogan said inflation, which hit a 24-year peak of 85% last year before easing, was Turkey's most urgent issue.

Analysts have warned that if the current policies continue, the economy is headed for turmoil given depleted foreign reserves, an expanding state-backed protected deposits scheme, and unanchored inflation expectations.

The lira TRYTOM=D3 has undergone a series of crashes in recent years and hit new all-time lows in the days after the vote.


EXCLUSIVE-Turkey's new cabinet almost certain to include Simsek - sources nL1N37S1VK


Reporting by Huseyin Hayatsever
Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Frances Kerry

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