Turkey’s AKP to reshape cabinet to boost efficiency
Neşe Karanfil/Turan Yılmaz - ANKARA
DHA photoFollowing its surprising election win on Nov. 1, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is planning to reshape the composition and portfolios of Turkey’s council of ministers.
The AKP has already been conducting preliminary work to divide the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry, and the Culture and Tourism Ministry. In addition, the units of other ministries - such as the Customs and Trade Ministry and the Science, Industry and Technology Ministry - may be relocated.
“Considering practices taken up to now, some changes are being considered for a swifter and productive functioning of the government, in line with needs. A legal arrangement is required for these changes, so the issue may come up as the number one item on the agenda when the new parliament opens,” AKP sources told Hürriyet.
No legal arrangement is required to increase the number of deputy prime ministers in the cabinet, the sources said when asked about reported plans to further increase the number of deputy prime ministers.
The 26-seat cabinet is currently composed of the prime minister, four deputy prime ministers, and 21 executive ministries.
Ministry of Mines?
A report outlining the separation of the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry has already been presented to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who has reportedly responded warmly to the idea. The report drafted by the Energy and Natural Resources Minister of the interim government led by the AKP, Ali Rıza Alaboyun, stated that Turkey’s external energy dependency is currently around 47-48 percent, so the mining sector should be separated and enhanced in order to lower this figure to 20-30 percent by focusing on domestic sources.
There are strong rumors that a new ministry, either be called the Ministry of Mines or the Ministry of Natural Resources, will be set up.
Alaboyun’s report noted that there is currently no arrangement for the designation of reserves and there is a need for focused attention on coal mines. It stated that mechanisms concerning the coal sector and the natural gas sector, as well as the Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ), the state gas importer that is also Turkey’s state pipeline operator, should operate under this new ministry.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK), and electricity production and transmission companies should continue working under the Energy Ministry, the report added.
Founded in 2001 and elected as government for the first time in 2002, after it came to power for a third consecutive term in 2011 the AKP set up a Family and Social Policies Ministry, an EU Ministry, a Youth and Sports Ministry and a Development Ministry. The Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry, the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry and the Customs and Trade Ministry were also rearranged.
“Rearranging those ministries was the right decision under conditions of the time, and good results were yielded. However, one should acknowledge that the conditions of today and the conditions of those days are different. In time, the need for new structures ensuring that we overcome certain problems stemming from new demands has emerged,” the same AKP sources said on condition of anonymity.