Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, was just sworn into office for another five-year term. This time he has broad, sweeping powers, including the ability to dissolve Parliament. Before Erdogan, the role of the Turkish president was largely ceremonial.
Here's what you need to know
Erdogan has been the president of Turkey since 2014. In 2016, a coup to depose him failed. The coup was led by military leaders who opposed Erdogan's push to make Turkey more Islamic and less secular. Erdogan had used the coup as justification to give himself emergency powers.
After winning 52.9 percent of the vote in Turkey's presidential election two weeks ago, Erdogan was granted the ability to call additional elections, appoint judges without parliamentary approval, dissolve Parliament, and issue decrees that had previously been reserved for states of emergency. The role of prime minister has also been eliminated, and the president will now be able to pick his own Cabinet.
Critics worry that this development threatens to make the country authoritarian.
“As president, I swear upon my honor and integrity, before the great Turkish nation and history, to work with all my power to protect and exalt the glory and honor of the Republic of Turkey,” Erdogan said in his speech to Parliament after being sworn in. This was met with a minute-long standing ovation by his supporters, and seated silence from those who still oppose his power grab.
What does this mean for the United States?
Erdogan has been lackluster in joining the fight against the Islamic State, refusing to attack the terror group until July 2015 when 32 people were killed by an ISIS suicide bomber in Turkey. However, he has not hesitated to attack the United States' Kurdish allies in Syria, drawing them away from helping in the fight against the Islamic State.
Turkey has had an ongoing conflict with the PKK, a branch of Kurdish militants within its own borders, and because of this views all Kurdish groups as terrorists. While the U.S. has also declared the PKK to be a terrorist organization, other Kurdish groups in Iraq and Syria have proven to be valuable U.S. allies.