Sunday, 24 August 2014


More than 20 heads of states and governments have announced their attendance for the official ceremony when outgoing President Abdullah Gül will hand over office to President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 28.  Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek has already called for an extraordinary session of the General Assembly to gather when Erdoğan takes an oath of office before Parliament.  Meanwhile, at a Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) decided that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will serve as acting prime minister for 24 hours after Erdoğan takes over as president. Accordingly, Davutoğlu will serve as acting prime minister from Aug. 28 to 29 when Erdoğan will formally name Davutoğlu as prime minister and provide him with a mandate to form a new Cabinet. Until then, Erdoğan will be chairing a Cabinet meeting for the last time when it gathers on Aug. 25. After Erdoğan takes his oath before Parliament, he will be given the mandate by Parliament Speaker Çiçek. The mandate was sent to the Parliament Speaker’s Office by the president of the Supreme Election Board (YSK) after the top election body announced on Aug. 15 the final results of the Aug. 10 election, which saw Erdoğan win by 52 percent. According to the Constitution, Erdoğan must take this oath before assuming office:

“In my capacity as President I swear upon my honor and integrity before the Turkish Grand National Assembly and before history to safeguard the existence and independence of the State, the indivisible integrity of the country and the Nation and the absolute sovereignty of the Nation, to abide by the Constitution, the rule of law, democracy, the principles of the secular Republic, not to deviate from the ideal according to which everyone is entitled to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms under conditions of national peace and prosperity and in the spirit of national solidarity and justice, and do my utmost to preserve and exalt the glory and honor of the Republic of Turkey and perform without bias the functions that I have assumed.”

Welcoming and sending off
Despite numerous leaders from the international community expected to attend the ceremony on Aug. 28, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, already announced he will not be attending the oath taking ceremony on the grounds that Erdoğan violated Turkish law by not resigning from his prime ministry position on Aug. 15, following the official announcement of the presidential election results. 
Even though Kılıçdaroğlu will not personally be present at the ceremony, he has left his lawmakers to decide whether they wish to attend or not. Meanwhile, in line with what he called “respect for state traditions,” the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli announced that he would attend the ceremony.After getting his mandate, Erdoğan will visit the tomb of the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Gül and his spouse, Hayrünnisa Gül, will greet Erdoğan and his spouse, Emine Erdoğan, at the entrance gate of the Çankara Palace where they are also expected to be greeted by a ceremonial cavalry regiment in the presidential mansion.With the A-type protocol designed for the handover ceremony, the two couples will pose for cameras together, then proceeding to the reception hall where they will both deliver speeches. Once the ceremony has finished, the Erdoğan couple will provide Gül and his wife with a send off at the presidential palace.


The heads of states of Turkmenistan, Benin, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Togo in addition to Libya’s parliamentary speaker, the de facto head of state, are among the foreign guests that will attend the oath-taking and handover ceremony, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported over the weekend. Qatar’s ruling Amir; presidents of Bulgaria, Moldova, Macedonia, Albania, Somalia, Kosovo, Ethiopia and Turkish Cyprus; vice president of Gambia; Ghana’s vice head of state; and the head of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential Council are among attendees, the agency reported, citing anonymous sources from the Prime Ministry Office. Azerbaijan and Ivory Coast will be represented by speakers of their national assemblies, while Romania, Belarus, Gabon, Georgia, Pakistan, Jordan, Tajikistan, Niger and Morocco will be represented by their prime ministers. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will represent their countries while the United States has yet to inform Ankara about their representative, while China will send a special representative to the ceremonies, the agency said.

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