Clues on Turkey’s government in the new term
It wasn’t for nothing when he made his balcony speech after the election win with just his wife by his side. It wasn’t for nothing that he said his party had “received the message that the people sent.”
What this message calls for will be implemented in the shaping of the new government. At the central executive board meeting there was no talk on the foundation of a new government. But with the way Erdoğan spoke it is clear that he is considering the future of a couple of the current ministers.
“The problems with the party are very important. The congress will be very important in the shaping of the party. So let’s hold the congress earlier. At that next congress we will be able to reshape our party,” he said.
As a result, the congress that was originally scheduled to be held in September is now set to be held on Aug. 18.
“After the congress we will speed up our preparations for the local election. We will stick to the campaigning atmosphere. But we need to fix the problems with the party: We cannot go into local elections like this. We need to prepare more. The candidates we nominate for mayoralties will be particularly important,” he said at the meeting.
The president is said to be preparing two major changes.
1- He will establish the new government on July 8. It is expected that he will include several ministers who were elected as lawmakers. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s appointment as parliament speaker is almost certain. Yıldırım will thus be parliament speaker for the AKP-Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) alliance, called the “People’s Alliance” during the election campaign. For the position of AKP parliamentary group chair, the name running first is Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ. The new cabinet, consisting of 16 ministers, will also include a number of new names.
2- The party administration will be renewed in the congress on Aug. 18.
Meanwhile, Erdoğan has also urged his party to “stay away from moves that might hurt the MHP,” as the alliance between the parties is set to continue.
The codes of the new term
The economy certainly made an impact throughout the campaign period ahead of June 24. It is seen in Ankara as the primary reason why the AK Party’s vote share fell to 42 percent, and it is the main reason why Erdoğan is now saying: “Economy, economy, economy.”
The word in Ankara is also that fixing Turkey’s relationship with the West is among the top priorities. Could the recent releases of journalist Mehmet Altan and activist Celalettin Can, as well as the talks on lifting the state of emergency, be hints of such an objective? Will the jailed Pastor Andrew Brunson also be freed in his next hearing on July 18?
Erdoğan is one leader who knows how to come to terms, just as he knows how to fight. We will see whether the new term will brings about new hopes with the shift to the new executive presidential governance system.
This very much relies on the AK Party making a return to its original reformist identity.