Headline August 05, 2018/ '' 'TURKEY'S TIMELY TRIUMPHS' ''


PRESIDENT ERDOGAN appointed a loyalist, the former chief of staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, as his Defense Minister.

Gen. Akar opposed the 2016 coup - he was taken prisoner on the night of failed coup by rogue officers - and has since overseen a comprehensive purge of the armed forces in the two years since.

''It seems Erdogan has planned the transition to be as smooth possible by naming Akar, as his Defense Minister,'' Murat Yetkin wrote in the Hurriyet Daily News.

PRESIDENT ERDOGAN outlined his own powers in one new decree after his inauguration. He will appoint the chief of staff of the armed forces-

Along with the commanders of the land, air and naval forces and the deputy chief of staff - by presidential decision, which needs no confirmation process.

Decree 703, issued just before Mr. Erdogan was sworn in to his new term, also removed many of the regulation in selection process for appointments.

For instance, the president will directly appoint the rector's of Turkey's public and private universities.

''Yes, U.S. President Trump can appoint a replacement to a vacant seat in the Supreme Court, but he does not appoint a police chief in Massachusetts or public theater director in Boston,'' Ms. Aydintasbas commented in Cumhuriyet.

''He cannot appoint a state governor or even a university rector,'' she added.

The decree also lowers the qualifications for judges appointed to the government's administrative courts, which regulate government departments. Previously, had to hold a law or political science degrees, but they can now be drawn from any degree program.

One of Mr. Erdogan's most controversial moves has been the appointment of his son-in-law Berat Albayrak as minister of the newly combined Treasury and Finance Ministry

A presidential circular published in the Official Gazette over the weekend also placed the central bank under the responsibility of the ministry.

Mr. Erdogan had emphasized that changes are needed to make state institutions more responsive and efficient.

But the latest regulations diminish the legal and practical independence of the central bank, Unit Akcay, an associate professor of economics at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, said in emailed comments.

Turkish equities and the country's currency fell in value in the days days after Mr. Erdogan's appointment of a new cabinet that removed two highly regarded officials - Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Sinsek and Finance Minister Naci Agbal - and that promoted Mr. Albayrak.

Mr. Albayrak addressed the changes at the central bank this month in an effort to calm the markets.

''The policy in the new period aims to render the central bank more effective than ever,'' he said at a news briefing. The central bank's decisions will be driven by market conditions, he said promising ''a more predictable, simple and determined monetary policy in line with the objectives.''

Yet Mr. Albayrak's appointment part pf the concern unsettling investors, the credit rating service Moody's said in a statement. ''Such appointments will inevitably raise questions regarding the independence and experience of Mr. Erdogan's government,'' Moody's said.

Ms. Aydintasbas warned that centralizing power had never worked in Turkey.

''I believe that such concentration in power will tire Turkey out, lock out the state and overload the economy,'' she said. ''I hope I'm mistaken.''

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