President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Ankara, Turkey August 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
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Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's president on Thursday, cementing his position as its most powerful leader of recent times, in a step opponents fear heralds more authoritarian rule and widening religious influence in public life.Erdogan, who had been prime minister since 2003, has consistenly presented his time in office as a historic mission to transform Turkey domestically and as a regional power.Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu boycotted the ceremony, arguing Erdogan breached the constitution by remaining premier for the weeks after his presidential victory.Erdogan's victory in Turkey's first popular presidential election this month capped more than decade as prime minister in which the economy has tripled in dollar terms and the country has carved out a growing, though often controversial, role in the politics of the conflict-torn Middle East.Opponents warn his ambition to establish an executive presidential system will concentrate too much power in the hands of a leader with autocratic instincts and roots in Islamist politics, and lead the EU candidate country ever further from the secular ideals of Ataturk.
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