Jul 09 2018

Şimşek out, son-in-law Albayrak in charge of finance in new cabinet

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced the first cabinet following the swearing in ceremony earlier on Monday, choosing loyalists and figures from the business world for some of the country’s key positions.

The composition of the cabinet, which comprises key aides, old hands and a handful of businesspeople and is overseen by just one vice president, confirms speculation that Erdoğan is looking forward to years of tight personal control over the country until the next election.

Erdoğan named a largely loyalist cabinet who can be expected to carry out the orders coming from Erdogan's palace, starting with president appointed Berat Albayrak, his son-in-law and the former Turkish energy minister, as the Treasury and Finance Minister.

Mehmet Şimşek, the Western-educated Turkish politician and economist of Kurdish origin did not find any spot for himself.

Until earlier in the day, it was still not clear whether the new system would include three, two or just one Vice President slot. Erdogan announced the appointment of only one, Dr. Fuat Oktay, who had been the Prime Ministry Undersecretary since June 19, 2016.

Aviation and automotive industry expert Dr. Oktay had been the Chief of Disaster and Emergency Case Management Presidency at Güne Sigorta since 2012. His CV includes spells at Ford, General Motors and Chrysley during the 1990s.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was reappointed to his post. 

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, who has been rumoured to have an ongoing feud with Erdogan's son-in-law and former energy minister Berat Albayrak, retained his post as well.

The new Education Minister new owner is Ziya Selçuk, a 1961-born Ankara native with a long history in the education ministry, where he was in charge of teacher training towards the beginning of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) period. 

The health and environment and urban planning ministries will be headed by figures with deep links to private business in their respective fields. 

Fahrettin Koca, the newly appointed Minister of Health, was the founder of private hospital group Medipol, while the Minister for the Environment and Urban Planning, Murat Kurum, had been the head of Turkey's Real Estate Investment Company, a subsidiary of the state social housing developer, TOKİ.