Turkey’s new government with PM Ahmet Davutoglu at the helm wasted no time in the formation of the newly-minted Cabinet, which was announced less than 24 hours after the handover ceremony at the presidency
Davutoglu reappointed all key ministers who served under the new President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, setting a course of continuity for the new government.
Davutoglu, who took over Erdogan’s former job, announced a ministerial line-up little changed from Erdogan’s Cabinet, with only four new names.
The most notable appointment was that of Mevlut Cavusoglu to the post of foreign minister, taking over the post that Davutoglu had himself held since 2009.
Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for over a decade, was sworn in as Turkey’s first popularly elected president on Thursday. He has picked former foreign minister and loyal ally Davutoglu to succeed him as prime minister and immediately asked him to form a new government.
Erdogan has indicated he wants to transform the presidency from a largely ceremonial post into a more powerful position. He has said he would exercise the president’s seldom-used powers such as calling and presiding over Cabinet meetings, which would allow him to be involved in the running of government.
Davutoglu made no substantial changes to Erdogan’s old government with the bulk of his ministers staying in place. He appointed Yalcin Akdogan — Erdogan’s former chief adviser and his closest aide — as a deputy prime minister.
Former diplomat Volkan Bozkir replaces Cavusoglu as the minister in charge of ties with the EU.
Ali Babacan, a respected deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, would stay in place, in a move that is likely to reassure financial markets. Numan Kurtulmus, a senior party official and economist, was also promoted to deputy prime minister.
Cavusoglu, a US- and British-educated founding member of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, was previously the president of the parliamentary assembly of the 47-nation Council of Europe, an organization that promotes human rights and democracy in the continent.
A figure seen as reassuring for the US and the EU, many will want Cavusoglu to rebalance Turkish foreign policy which was condemned in some quarters for over-ambition under Davutoglu.
Key economic figures Ali Babacan and Mehmet Simsek keep their respective posts as deputy prime minister and finance minister, a move set to reassure markets which see them as guarantors of good economic policy under the AKP.
Source : Agencies