News / Europe

Erdogan Allies Likely to Dominate Turkey's New Cabinet

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party during a meeting at the party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 14, 2014.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party during a meeting at the party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 14, 2014.
Reuters

Turkish president-elect Tayyip Erdogan looks set to maintain his influence on daily politics after he is 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 on Tuesday 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 toward 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.

Erdogan, who co-founded the AK Party and has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade as prime minister, won the country's first national presidential election on Aug. 10 with more than 51 percent of the vote.

Senior officials had told Reuters before the vote that economic ministers would be retained at least until a parliamentary election next June if Erdogan won.

Erdogan will step down as leader of the AK Party when he is inaugurated on Aug. 28, as required by the constitution, but has made clear that he wants the party he co-founded with Gul more than 10 years ago to remain loyal and unified.

“Davutoglu is certainly someone that Erdogan can control, because he doesn't have his own constituency. Erdogan made him. He's about the most amenable prime minister that could be chosen,” one European diplomat said.

High stakes

Erdogan wants a strong and loyal party leader to boost the AK's majority in next June's election, a result which would help him to change the constitution and strengthen the powers of the presidency.

While Davutoglu is likely to back him in this, he lacks strong support among the AK's core voters, meaning Erdogan is likely to try to continue to assert his influence over the party even after breaking formal ties.

“Davutoglu lacks Erdogan's caustic rhetorical skills and ability to inspire almost fanatical personal devotion amongst the AKP's grassroots. He is likely to struggle to impose himself and be dependent on Erdogan to maintain party unity,” risk research firm Teneo Intelligence's Wolfango Piccoli said.

“If Davutoglu performs badly, fears that the AKP could lose its majority at the next general election ... may lead to calls for Gul to return to lead the party, raising the possibility of an intensification of Gul's long-running rivalry with Erdogan,” said Piccoli.

Davutoglu has overseen Turkish foreign policy at a turbulent time for the Middle East, with wars in neighboring Iraq and Syria and the Arab Spring uprisings, but his “zero problems with the neighbors” policy has crumbled, with relations degraded with Egypt, Syria, Israel, Iraq and Iran.

“In the Middle East he is basically persona non grata ... they're isolated. Countries like Egypt are hardly going to be happy if he is prime minister and Erdogan is president,” the European diplomat said.

Gul, who commands respect among core AK voters and is seen as a more conciliatory figure than Erdogan, had long been touted as a future prime minister. But he has been sidelined in recent months and, could not in any case immediately become party leader.

Senior AK officials said intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, one of Erdogan's closest confidantes, and EU minister Mevlut Cavusoglu were being considered as possible replacements for Davutoglu in the role of foreign minister.

Top aide Yalcin Akdogan was also expected to take up a position in cabinet, possibly as a deputy prime minister, while AK deputy chairman Mustafa Sentop is seen as a candidate for justice minister, the officials said.

 

 

You May Like

Multimedia Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid