Erdogan allies likely to dominate new cabinet

August 21, 2014 - 12:34:30 am
Turkey’s outgoing president Abdullah Gul makes a speech during a reception at the Presidential Palace of Cankaya in Ankara, yesterday.

ANKARA: Turkish president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks set to maintain his influence on daily politics after being sworn in next week, with close allies likely to take on cabinet posts in a new government and his economic team expected to remain largely intact.

Outgoing president Abdullah Gul said that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was likely to take over as chairman of the party and become the next prime minister, rekindling speculation about the shape of the new cabinet. Davutoglu, an academic who has served as Erdogan’s foreign minister for the past five years, is expected to be confirmed as the ruling AK Party’s nominee for chairman on Thursday before being formally voted in at an AK general assembly on August 27.

Senior AK officials told Reuters that ministers responsible for the economy would remain in place under Davutoglu, and that close Erdogan allies including his top aide Yalcin Akdogan and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan might be given cabinet positions.

Investors have been particularly concerned about the fate of Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, who have guided the Turkish economy towards unprecedented stability in recent years.

“The decision will be up to Erdogan and Davutoglu, but in the new cabinet which is expected to be formed at the beginning of September, no changes are expected with Babacan and Simsek or other economic portfolios,” one senior AK official said.

AFP

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