Maduro says Erdoğan leader of new multi-polar world

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro labelled his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a friend and “leader of the new multi-polar world”.

Maduro made the comments as Erdoğan was sworn in as president for a second term with vastly enhanced powers at a ceremony at the presidential palace in Ankara late on Monday. The event was also attended by 21 other heads of state, largely from Central Asia, the Balkans and Africa. The emir of Qatar and Russia’s prime minister were also present.

The Venezuelan president tweeted the comments in a video message:

Erdoğan’s inauguration marks the end of Turkey’s parliamentary democracy and abolishes the post of prime minister. Erdoğan, known for his brash, combative rhetoric, is seeking to make Turkey a regional and global power and has consistently slammed the United Nations for being a club of five nations under the UN Security Council.

Western leaders were conspicuous by their absence from the lavish ceremony.

Turkish government-sponsored aid agencies have spent billions of dollars annually under Erdoğan rebuilding mosques and ancient Ottoman buildings, as well as investing money in schools and other social projects in Africa, the Balkans and elsewhere. Erdoğan sees himself as a leader of the world's Muslims against Western oppression and what he terms state terrorism by Israel against Palestinians.