ISTANBUL — Turkish lawmakers are taking oaths to serve in parliament, following last month's elections that have shifted more power to the presidency.
Six hundred parliamentarians from five political parties were swearing in Saturday in Ankara. Among them are 295 lawmakers from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party and 49 from the allied Nationalist Movement Party.
Opposition lawmakers are from the secular Republican People's Party, pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party and nationalist Good Party.
Turkey's governing system is changing from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency, which abolishes the office of the prime minister and changes parliament's responsibilities. Critics fear it concentrates too much power in the hands of one man, Erdogan. He will now head government, appoint ministers, vice presidents and top bureaucrats, prepare the budget and decide on security policies.
Under the new system, the number of parliamentary seats has increased by 50. Parliament proposes laws, has the power to ratify or reject the president's budget or move for new dual elections. Parliament can also shorten, extend or cancel a state of emergency, and presidential decrees passed during emergency rule must be approved within 90 days or become void.
Erdogan will be sworn in as president Monday to complete the transformation and is expected to announce his cabinet.