Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking the oath of office as Turkey's first popularly elected president, a position that will keep him in the nation's driving seat for at least another five years.

Erdogan is stepping down as prime minister and being installed as president on Thursday in a ceremony to be attended by scores of foreign dignitaries.

He is scheduled to appoint Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, his designated successor, to form a new government later in the day.

Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for a decade, has indicated he wants to transform the presidency from a largely ceremonial post into a more powerful position.

Erdogan has ruled over Turkey as prime minister since 2003 following three successive electoral victories. He won Turkey's first direct presidential elections on Aug. 10.