First cabinet sworn in under presidential system
Following the historic launch of the new executive presidential system, the first 16-seat cabinet under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was sworn in and took office on July 10, with figures from political, bureaucratic and professional walks of life appointed to key ministries.
Vice President Fuat Oktay (pictured) and 16 ministers took their oaths in the Turkish Parliament and resumed their positions after the completion of hand over ceremonies in each ministry.
Erdoğan’s son-in-law, former Energy Minister Berat Albayrak was appointed as treasury and finance minister, while Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, and Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül protected their positions in the new cabinet after resigning from parliament.
Erdoğan appointed his new government late July 9 after being inaugurated as president. The first cabinet meeting will take place on July 13 after Erdoğan’s return from the NATO Summit.
With the abolition of the office of prime minister under the new executive system, all executive powers of the prime minister were transferred to the new president.
“We are trying to build a sense that there is a trustable justice system in Turkey. In the new system, there will be new mechanisms that will eliminate the inefficiencies in serving the people,” Abdulhamit Gül said on July 10.
The former ministers have handed their seats to the new ministers with the change of command ceremonies on July 10, as the bureaucratic cadres will be appointed after the new ministers take office.
Ministers will make necessary appointments to the positions of vice ministers in line with the organizational charts of each ministry.
MHP leader extends congratulations
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has congratulated the new cabinet, as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP vowed to continue their “People’s Alliance” in the parliament.
“I hope this new cabinet to be successful,” Bahçeli said on July 10 after the oath taking ceremony of the ministers.
List of ministers
Former Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar has become the new defense minister with the swearing-in ceremony, as Turkish Land Forces Commander Gen. Yaşar Güler took Akar’s position in the Turkish Army with the first presidential decree published on July 10.
Erdoğan’s son-in law Berat Albayrak has taken the treasury and finance minister’s seat, as Erdoğan opted to continue with current Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in the new cabinet.
Four ministers had been elected as lawmakers in the July 24 elections and have resigned their parliamentary post to join the cabinet.
Erdoğan’s vice president is Fuat Oktay, former undersecretary of the office of the prime minister, who is regarded as one of the architects of the bureaucratic and administrative transformation after the governmental system was voted on shifting to a presidential system in last year’s referendum.
The president’s choice as trade minister was Ruhsar Pekcan, a businesswoman who has been serving in Turkey’s largest trade chamber as the deputy head for women entrepreneurship and the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).
Mustafa Varank, one of Erdoğan’s closest aides, will serve as the industry and development minister in the new cabinet.
Undersecretary of the Energy Ministry Fatih Dönmez was appointed as energy minister while Cahit Turan, former head of the Directorate of Highways, will serve as the transportation and infrastructure minister.
Education Minister Ziya Selçuk has long served at the Education Ministry but is well-known as the owner of a private college in Turkey.
Other ministers are Environment and Urban Minister Murat Kurum, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy, Labor, Social Services and Family Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, Agriculture and Forest Minister, Bekir Pakdemirli, and Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu.