Erdoğan’s aide hints at cabinet reshuffle

Erdoğan’s aide hints at cabinet reshuffle

Deniz Zeyrek – ANKARA
Erdoğan’s aide hints at cabinet reshuffle

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s aide and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Ali İhsan Arslan has hinted that another cabinet reshuffle could soon be on the cards.

Recalling recent changes made to the party’s provincial and district heads and mayors, Arslan said the changes would be finalized soon.

“Later on, we will hold our congress. It is likely that there will be changes within the senior decision-making mechanisms of the party. There may be changes in the Central Executive Committee [MYK] and Central Decision and Executive Board [MKYK] of the party. Before or after this change, there may be a cabinet change again,” he said on Nov. 15 at a meeting with taxi drivers.

“Mr. Erdoğan is aiming to shake up the AKP and make it regain its earlier dynamism,” Arslan said.

He added that in the past, the biggest weaknesses of the political parties were “corruption” and “recklessness,” noting that Erdoğan did not want this to capture the AKP.

Arslan said Erdoğan was doing something many other leaders “did not dare do.”

“If it were someone else, he probably would prefer not to wait, want to see a little more, and then retire when things goofed up,” Arslan said.

The changes came after Erdoğan urged that substantial changes should be done in the party’s organization and all provincial branches because they were suffering from “metal fatigue.”

Erdoğan on Oct. 13 said the AKP was working on “restructuring for the 2019 elections” and “could not afford to waste time.”

“Some of our friends should not feel uncomfortable about this. On the contrary, if our management has made such a decision, then they will show the same courtesy our Istanbul mayor has shown, and in that way, strengthen our movement,” Erdoğan said, referring to the resignation of former Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş on Sept. 22.

A cabinet reshuffle on July 19 changed four deputy premiers while keeping the foreign team in place and introducing six new names.

The mayors of Ankara, Istanbul, Niğde, Düzce and Bursa have recently resigned upon Erdoğan’s request.

Turkey is set to hold three elections in 2019. The first will be local elections scheduled for March 2019, while the presidential and parliamentary elections will be held later in the year in November.

A shift into an executive presidential system, stipulated by the constitutional amendment narrowly approved in a referendum in April, will go into effect after the 2019 election.

AKP; Justice and Development, 2019 elections,