The 2017 cabinet reshuffle

Who wins and who loses? A snapshot of Turkish ministers’ fate as the government contemplates a post-referendum reshuffle

A comprehensive reshuffle of Turkey’s ministers – perhaps one of the largest in recent years – is on the cards now that the election authorities have officially declared that the country narrowly voted to switch to an executive presidency system.

It’s likely to be the last major change before the next general election, due by November 2019, and the first after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ditches his formal political neutrality and resumes his membership of the governing AK Party.

The rumours milling around Ankara suggest some significant figures could be on their way of the cabinet.

The names listed under “Uncertain future” below are simply those whose status is unclear – this isn’t to say they are definitely being sacked. However, more than one source has told me that the position of deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmuş, who also acts as government spokesman, is rocky.

Meanwhile big names are also being bandied about as potential entrants.

They include Ali Babacan, the apple of the foreign investors’ eye, who had to be persuaded to run for re-election in November 2015, only be told he would not be given a cabinet role. Keeping Turkey’s foreign direct investors happy will be key priority for the government and Mr Babacan is a sure step in that direction – particularly if Mr Şimşek is made to take a step back.

Also mentioned is İbrahim Kalın, who came to prominence only in 2014 when President Erdoğan made him his official spokesman. The position is hugely influential: Mr Kalın’s words have been known to override those of ministers. He would be a key Erdoğanite in the cabinet.

There are also mutterings of a minister from the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as thanks for their support in the referendum, but there’s nothing substative to back this up at this stage.

Prominent portfolios

Last updated: Friday 28 April

Uncertain future

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Foreign

Numan Kurtulmuş
Deputy prime minister

Mehmet Şimşek
Deputy prime minister

Tuğrul Türkeş
Deputy prime minister

Rumoured to be incoming

Ali Babacan
Former deputy prime minister

İbrahim Kalın
President’s spokesman

MHP minister
As thanks for referendum support

Safe in the cabinet

Recep Akdağ
Health

Naci Ağbal
Finance

Berat Albayrak
Energy & Natural Resources

Bekir Bozdağ
Justice

Nurettin Canikli
Deputy prime minister

Ömer Çelik
European Union affairs

Fikri Işık
Defence

Süleyman Soylu
Interior

Nihat Zeybekçi
Economy

 

Other portfolios

Uncertain future

Ahmet Arslan
Transport

Nabi Avcı
Culture & Tourism

Faruk Çelik
Food & Agriculture

Lütfi Elvan
Development

Veysel Eroğlu
Forests

Veysi Kaynak
Deputy prime minister

Çağatay Kılıç
Youth & Sport

Mehmet Özhaseki
Environment

Faruk Özlü
Science

İsmet Yılmaz
Education

Safe in the cabinet

Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya
Family & Social Policies

Mehmet Müezzinoğlu
Work & Social Security

Bülent Tüfenkci
Customs & Trade

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