PM Erdoğan to present list of new ministers today

PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated that changes should be expected in the government. He also said the government planned to introduce two new ministries.

PM Erdoğan to present list of new ministers today
After announcing the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) decision to nominate Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah Gül as their presidential candidate, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is prepared to meet today with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer to present his new Cabinet member list.

Erdoğan implied there would be comprehensive changes in the Cabinet, during the last Council of Ministers meeting of the 59th government. Erdoğan welcomed 176 new deputies in the July 22 elections and made major changes in the Parliamentary Presidential Council membership and parliamentary group leadership. Speaking to the press on Wednesday after his party's Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting, Erdoğan reiterated that changes should be expected in the government. He also said the government planned to introduce two new ministries.During the same press conference Erdoğan spoke on opposition to Gül's presidency. "Just like we completed the general election on July 22 with maturity, we will complete the presidential election process with the same maturity and politeness," he said.

He said he had full confidence in his party's presidential candidate. "As the Justice and Development Party, we have shown maximum effort and care on this issue. My brother Abdullah Gül is the statesman who would match to the honor of this noble post his knowledge, experience, past career, charisma and the respect and acceptance he has found both at home and abroad."

The prime minister said nobody should doubt that Gül would completely live up to the principle of impartiality as the country's next president.

Details of the new Cabinet

It is believed that Erdoğan will welcome new names in his Cabinet that will ensure compromise and avoid polemics in the new term. Erdoğan will most likely prepare a list that will reflect party balances. Erdoğan is expected to include in his list either Ertuğrul Günay, to whom he offered the spot of deputy group leader, or the former deputy group leader Salih Kapusuz -- but not both. It is unclear whether Education Minister Hüseyin Çelik and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Şahin will remain in the Cabinet.

Expectations that Erdoğan will make major changes are at an all-time high. It is believed that he is having a harder time deciding whom he should remove from the Cabinet than deciding whom he should include. The rumor in AK Party circles is that Ali Babacan, Beşir Atalay, Nimet Çubukçu, Binali Yıldırım, Mehdi Eker and Recep Akdağ will keep their seats.

Claims that Gül will continue his current post as the foreign affairs minister if he is not elected president have been denied.

Former Parliament Speaker Bülent Arınç and former Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek could be appointed as deputy prime ministers; it is unclear who the third deputy prime minister might be. Other names that could possibly join the new Cabinet of ministers are Edibe Sözen, Hayati Yazıcı, Nazım Erken, Bülent Gedikli, former parliamentary group deputy chairman Faruk Çelik, former Ankara Chamber of Industry Chairman Zafer Çağlayan and former Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD) chairman Ali Bayramoğlu.

It is believed that Erdoğan, who was considering appointing Bayramoğlu, his childhood friend, to the Ministry of Industry until Çağlayan requested to be appointed to the same ministry, is having difficulty deciding between the two. It is most likely that Çubukçu will keep her position and that Sözen will be appointed to a ministry. It is also very likely that Erdoğan will reshuffle his ministers. There is speculation that Ali Babacan could replace Gül as the minister of foreign affairs, that Cemil Çiçek could become the deputy prime minister, and that Labor and Social Security Minister Murat Başesgioğlu could replace Minister of Interior Abdulkadir Aksu, whom Erdoğan might reshuffle depending on if Şahin joins the Cabinet.

There is a possibility that the minister of defense, Vecdi Gönül, could be excluded from the new Cabinet. Sait Yazıcoğlu, Şaban Dişli, Ertuğrul Günay and Ömer Dinçer are among the other names that may also be dropped from the Cabinet.

Today's Zaman
Last Mod: 16 Ağustos 2007, 13:21
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