Türkİye, Politics

Turkish premier announces major Cabinet reshuffle

6 ministerial changes, 5 newcomers join Cabinet

Turkish premier announces major Cabinet reshuffle

By Baris Gundogan


Five new ministers joined the Turkish Cabinet on Wednesday in a reshuffle of government posts.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced the changes following an unscheduled meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara.

Three ministers were promoted to deputy prime minister positions -- Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, Defense Minister Fikri Isik and Health Minister Recep Akdag.

Hakan Cavusoglu, a lawmaker from the northwestern province of Bursa, was also appointed as a deputy prime minister without having previously held a Cabinet post while Mehmet Simsek retained his position as one of five deputies to Yildirim.

The five ministerial newcomers included Julide Sarieroglu, who became labor and social security minister and the second female Cabinet member.

Also appointed were Abdulhamit Gul, who was assigned the Justice Ministry portfolio; Osman Askin Bak, who became youth and sports minister; new Health Minister Ahmet Demircan; and Ahmet Esref Fakibaba, appointed to the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.

Six existing ministers were reappointed, meaning a total of 11 changes in the 27-member Cabinet.

The reshuffle followed April’s constitutional referendum that allowed Erdogan to resume his official ties to the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.

Erdogan led the AK Party for 13 years from 2001 but had to step aside when he became president in August 2014, due to a legal requirement for presidents to be politically neutral.

New ministers

That requirement was removed by April’s vote.

The new Labour and Social Security Minister Sarieroglu, from Adana province in southern Turkey, was born in 1979.

She studied labor economics and industrial relations at Gazi University, Ankara. She has authored several books on labor relations and was previously an executive member of the AK Party’s women's branch.

Cavusoglu, who was born in Greece’s Turkish community in 1972, studied law at Ankara University. He speaks Greek, English and Arabic.

Gul, a deputy from the southeastern province of Gaziantep, is also an Ankara University law graduate and is a member of the AK Party’s central executive.

Bak, a lawmaker from Istanbul, was born in 1966. He studied engineering at Istanbul Technical University and has a business and industrial engineering masters from Nottingham University in the U.K.

The new youth and sports minister speaks English, German and Persian.

Health Minister Ahmet Demircan was born in the Black Sea province of Samsun in 1954. He studied medicine at Ataturk University, Erzurum, and speaks English and Arabic.

Fakibaba is another medical graduate from Ataturk University. He was born in Sanliurfa province in 1951 and served as mayor of Sanliurfa in southeast Turkey for two terms. Fakibaba speaks English.

Tugrul Turkes, Veysi Kaynak, Mehmet Muezzinoglu, Cagatay Kilic, Faruk Celik and Nabi Avci lost their ministerial posts.

The new Cabinet is as follows:

Prime Minister

Binali Yildirim

Deputy prime ministers

Bekir Bozdag (former justice minister)

Mehmet Simsek

Fikri Isik (former defense minister)

Recep Akdag (former health minister)

Hakan Cavusoglu

Other ministers

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci

Finance Minister Naci Agbal

Health Minister Ahmet Demircan

National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli (former deputy PM)

European Union Minister Omer Celik

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak

Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya

Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Ozlu

Labor and Social Security Minister Julide Sarieroglu

Environment and Urban Planning Minister Mehmet Ozhaseki

Youth and Sports Minister Osman Askin Bak

Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmet Esref Fakibaba

Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci

Development Minister Lutfi Elvan

Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus (former deputy PM)

National Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz

Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroglu

Transport, Maritime and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan

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