AKP overhauls executive board

AKP overhauls executive board

AKP overhauls executive board

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Changes made in the Central Executive Board (MYK) of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have amounted to a substantial overhaul, as 11 newcomers were added to the board, empowered to assist the party leader, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who was reelected as the party leader at a weekend congress.

Members of the party’s highest decision-making body, the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), elected at the Sept. 12 congress held their first meeting late on Sept. 13 as chaired by Davutoğlu. The 50-seat MKYK, which is assumed to have been a crystal-clear reflection of the party’s founding leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to keep the party under his control, selected members of the Central Executive Board (MYK) at this meeting - a selection which was yet another manifestation of Erdoğan’s clout.

Accordingly, former Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik replaced Beşir Atalay in order to chair the party’s media promotion department while also serving as the spokesperson. Another name known to have been close to Erdoğan, former Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, will be in charge of election affairs, with the Nov. 1 early elections looming. Former Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will meanwhile be in charge of the party’s external relations. 

“From this moment, our MKYK has begun reviewing the agenda concerning Turkey’s political affairs. As a party which held its congress yesterday, the AK Parti [AKP] continues its reviews without interruption to serve Turkey and strengthen Turkey’s democracy,” Çelik told reporters at a press conference late on Sept. 13.

“We have an election timetable ahead. That’s why both the MKYK and the MYK will be much more active,”

Çelik said, in remarks delivered for the first time in his new capacity as the party spokesperson.

With only weeks to go to the Nov. 1 vote, Erdoğan’s hope is the AKP can win enough votes to change the constitution and create a more powerful presidency for him. Last year Erdoğan surrendered the prime minister’s position he had used to develop a strong grip on the country over 10 years and moved to the presidency confident he could transform it from a largely symbolic post to a powerful executive position.