Europe

Seeking greater powers, Erdogan chairs Cabinet's 1st meeting

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right and Turkey's incoming prime minister Binali Yildirim shake hands prior to the government's first cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Erdogan had approved the new government formed by Yildirim, one of his most trusted allies, who immediately asserted the intention to institute constitutional reforms that would expand the powers of the presidency. (Presidential Press Service/Pool Photo via AP)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right and Turkey's incoming prime minister Binali Yildirim shake hands prior to the government's first cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Erdogan had approved the new government formed by Yildirim, one of his most trusted allies, who immediately asserted the intention to institute constitutional reforms that would expand the powers of the presidency. (Presidential Press Service/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is presiding over the first meeting of Turkey's new Cabinet led by a trusted ally, in a clear sign that he intends to maintain influence on the running of government.

Erdogan on Sunday appointed Binali Yildirim as prime minister. Yildirim promised to immediately work toward a constitutional overhaul that would increase the powers of the largely ceremonial presidency. He replaced Ahmet Davutoglu, whose support for a powerful presidential system seemed lukewarm.

Erdogan chaired the new government's first meeting at his palace on Wednesday.

Constitutionally, the prime minister has executive powers in Turkey. But Erdogan, a former premier, has continued to wield powers from behind the scenes.

He is pressing for constitutional changes for an all-powerful presidency.