World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that he would chair a cabinet meeting on Jan. 19 in the new presidential palace in capital Ankara.
"There is an article in the Constitution that says the president can chair the (cabinet) meeting and call one when necessary," Erdogan told reporters following his visit to a trade union in Ankara.
Turkish media reported rumours of friction between Erdogan's team and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office after Davutoglu rejected comments last week from an Erdogan aide saying the president will convene the cabinet on Jan. 5.
He dismissed rumors that the meeting would be held on Jan. 5 and said he would gather the cabinet at the newly built palace on Jan. 19.
"I have discussed the issue with the prime minister and I will be convening the cabinet on January 19," Erdogan told reporters.
Erdogan said that the president is the head of the state and can use the powers granted to him by the Constitution to empower the government.
The Turkish leader, who dominated politics for more than a decade as prime minister, has made no secret of his desire to change the constitution to introduce a presidential system.
He became Turkey's first directly elected president in August and promised to wield far greater influence than predecessors who took a largely ceremonial role.
In calling the cabinet meeting, he used a presidential authority that has not been exercised at least for decades.
Erdogan has made clear he believes that the direct nature of August's vote - in which he won 52 percent - enables him to exercise stronger powers even without changing the constitution, maintaining his presence at the heart of Turkish politics.
"The president can exercise his powers...I can get together with the cabinet from time to time, this should not bother anyone," he told reporters.Last Mod: 29 Aralık 2014, 16:28