Jan. 19 will go down as a milestone in Turkish political history. Even a simple photo of the meeting at the presidential palace speaks volumes: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s first popularly elected president, sits at the head of the table, with Cabinet members lined on both sides.
For those familiar with Turkey’s 65-year multiparty political history, this is not an unusual or surprising sight. Five of Erdogan’s 11 predecessors had similarly convened and chaired Cabinet meetings. Before and after his election in August, Erdogan had openly declared he would use his presidential powers to their full extent.