Ruling AKP reshuffles top management
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has reshuffled its top management board at its sixth grand congress, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan being re-elected as the party’s chair with almost all the votes.
The AKP determined its new Central Decision and Management Board (MKYK) in its sixth grand congress on Aug. 18, where 29 of the 50-seat MKYK were reshuffled.
The new MKYK included 42 members of parliament and eight members who are not MPs.
Erdoğan was presented as the sole candidate for the leadership post with the signatures of all delegates and was re-elected with 1380 of the 1457 votes, making him the leader of the country’s largest party too.
The Central Executive Board (MYK) was also determined with the new MKYK members.
As the new executive presidential system grants executive authority to Erdoğan, the ruling party has not included any of its members who have a role in parliament in its top executive posts.
Six former ministers who were not elected in the June 24 elections were included in the MYK. Mehmet Özhaseki, Lütfü Elvan, Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, Jülide Sarıeroğlu, Ömer Çelik and Numan Kurtulmuş have become members of the MYK, whose members function as deputy chairs.
Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım’s “acting leadership” post was handed to Kurtulmuş, while former Çelik became the party’s spokesperson.
Party bylaws were also amended in line with the new executive presidential system.
The terms “Prime Ministry” and “Cabinet of Ministers” have been replaced by “Presidency,” after constitutional amendments last year authorized the abolishment of the Prime Ministry and related organizational structures.
The new bylaw includes a pre-election alliance principle that was brought into force by a legislative change before the June 24 elections.
The ruling party invited nine political parties including the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), İYİ (Good) Party and Felicity Party (SP). Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) was not invited to the congress, while İYİ Party announced they would not attend.
Besides political parties, the leaders of 52 countries were also invited to the congress. Some 414 foreign guests were also invited.
Erdoğan challenges the United States
Marking the 17th year of the founding of his party, Erdoğan in his speech said the AKP will “challenge everyone who’s threatening Turkey over the economy with sanctions, currency fluctuations, interest rates and inflation.”
“We are telling them that we have seen your plot and we challenge them,” he said.
He was referring to the United States, whom he accused of appearing like a strategic partner but acting like Turkey is its “strategic target.”
“They were not able to make us collapse and they will never be. If they have their dollars, we have our God. We will walk toward the future together with firm steps,” Erdoğan told a crowd, referring to what he described as an “economic attack” on Turkey and its national currency.
“God willing, we will give the world a different message with our congress that we will convene for the first time under the new system,” he added.
Erdoğan maintained his defiant rhetoric during his opening speech at the congress, vowing to “not surrender.”
Turkey will never bow before those “who set up their own order by exploiting the world,” the Turkish president added.