https://next.ft.com/content/4ee91d66-2820-11e6-8ba3-cdd781d02d89 Turkey’s new government was installed last week at the behest of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who showed who was in charge by chairing its first cabinet meeting. His new, handpicked prime minister, Binali Yildirim, announced that his “most important duty” would be to move Turkey from a parliamentary system to full presidential rule — legitimising the powers Mr Erdogan has already appropriated. There is, it is true, an anomaly in the present power structure. Mr Erdogan became Turkey’s first directly elected president in 2014, after 11 years as prime minister, raising the question of where real power resided. His answer was simply to transfer executive power from the premier’s office to the presidency. His plan now is to change the constitution — to make de jure what is already de facto. But this overriding drive towards one-man rule comes at a time when Turkey is looking vulnerable: politically, economically and regionally. Last year was consumed by two general elections. Mr Erdogan’s neo-Islamist Justice and Development party (AKP) lost its majority in June, and regained it in November, helped by the rekindling of the three decades-old conflict between Turkish security forces and Kurdish insurgents, which drove hardline nationalist votes towards the ruling party. Yet even though no new election is scheduled until 2019, the president’s quest for unbridled power will keep Turkey on permanent electoral alert for many months, during which politics will usually trump policy. Mr Erdogan will look at a number of political permutations. Parliament has voted to lift the immunity of a cross-section of MPs, but targeted 46 pro-Kurdish deputies for prosecution on terrorism charges. In theory, the AKP could pick up enough of those vacant seats to get the numbers it needs to tailor the constitution to fit its paramount leader. That is far from certain while much of the Kurdish south-east remains under siege. Equally, AKP overtures to the main nationalist party have incited a rebellion by dissidents. Taken together, this could mean yet another general election. While Mr Erdogan and his party thrive on this sort of polarisation, it undermines governance and is replacing Turkey’s rich diversity with hardening identity politics. At a Financial Times conference in Istanbul last week, Selin Sayek Boke, in charge of economic policy for the secular and social democratic opposition Republican People’s party, gave a stark warning. “We are building a Turkey,” she said, “which does not want to share today or tomorrow.” As far as today is concerned, Mr Erdogan’s relentless power-grab overshadows everything. Institutions and the rule of law have buckled as the separation of powers is eroded. By demanding unconditional and subservient loyalty, the president has cut himself off from the objective and granular analysis needed for solid policymaking. He unexpectedly kept in the cabinet Mehmet Simsek, the last surviving member of an economic team with an international reputation, but seemingly with little power. Structural reforms to move Turkey’s economy towards higher investment and added value are on hold. While global sentiment has turned against emerging markets generally, a Turkey dependent on continuing inflows of cheap money is additionally exposed because Mr Erdogan demands interest rate cuts just as the US Federal Reserve looks poised to raise its rates. Ankara’s partially restored relationship with the EU, by far its main source of foreign investment and trading partner, looks rocky. The transaction on which it hinges — Turkey acting as a holding pen for Syrian refugeessurging into Europe in exchange for visa-free entry for Turks into the EU’s Schengen area — looks undeliverable. Mr Erdogan utterly rejects any change to Turkey’s catch-all anti-terror laws, one of 72 conditions for the visa deal. He says Brussels just dreamt these up, whereas they were in the original agreement signed in 2013 when he was prime minister. Cocooned by courtiers, quite possibly he believes his own version. Turkey, moreover, will certainly react vehemently to the German Bundestag debate on a resolution on recognising the 1915 massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide. Threatened by the Isis jihadi tide lapping across its border with Syria, it is implacably opposed to any further advances by Syrian Kurdish militia backed by Washington, which also places Turkey at odds with the US, its Nato ally. Amid this gathering storm, Mr Erdogan may take satisfaction from this week’sconviction of a former Miss Turkey, one of nearly 2,000 people charged with defaming him since he became president. He also found the time to denounce family planning and contraception as contrary to Muslim values and damaging to Turkey’s future. But then again, his vision of that future is all about him.