The latest on the prime ministerial candidates

The latest on the prime ministerial candidates

I have not seen the Justice and Development Party (AKP) corridors in such activity before.

There is only one single topic. Everyone is seeking answers to “who is going to be the prime minister.”

Bets have also started for the new ministers. This is my take on the latest situation.

Currently, those who are saying Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım will become the prime minister are around 90 percent.

Even if his chances were to be 99 percent, Yıldırım is making a full-fledged lobby against the remaining 1 percent. He was one of the three candidates at the party congress where current Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was elected. That’s why he does not want to leave this to chance.

Due to his successful performance as the transportation minister, “investment” seems to be his strongest point. When asked by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he did not hesitate to put his nomination on the elections for the mayor of the Aegean city of İzmir. For a while he worked as the president’s advisor. All this shows that he is passing the test of “proximity.”  Despite the smear campaign using his son and the fact that he is not very food at addressing crowds, he is one step ahead.

Energy Minister Berat Albayrak

He is at the forefront due to his good education, familiarity with economic and energy issues, experience in the private sector and fluency in English, all making him a promising figure for the future. While some see the fact that he is the son-in-law of President Erdoğan as a handicap, others believe his relationship is a guarantee that no dichotomy will be experienced in the future.

He is being shown as someone who can serve Turkey due to his political experience and vision coming from “Erdoğan University.”

Some are saying it is too early for him, while others believe he is also a candidate despite the fact that he remains in the shadow for the race.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ

Harmony and loyalty to President Erdoğan is above everything for him. His operational role is underlined due to his performance as justice minister after he assumed this position following the Dec. 17-25, 2013, process. He was again made justice minister due to his success. His is a name that could be easily endorsed by the conservative masses due to his background in legal and theological issues.

Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz

He is one of the names that will past the test of loyalty, together with Yıldırım and Bozdağ.

The fact that he was the spokesperson of parliament between June 7 and Nov. 1, 2015, made his star shine.

The fact that he has assumed with the same enthusiasm the position of defense minister after being the spokesperson for parliament shows that he is not after titles but rather is a man of mission. The fact that he knows a foreign language is an asset.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş

The fact that he was the leader of the Felicity Party and the People’s Voice Party (HSP) in addition to the fact that he has a good standing with the public makes him a strong candidate in terms of a “strong AKP.” He could be the AKP’s strongest asset during referendum and election processes due to his talent in addressing masses and political experience. But it is not yet known whether a strong name will be preferred after the experience with Davutoğlu.

Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu

His name is among the candidates due to the warm relations he has established with parliamentarians as well as party organizations during his term as health minister. He has been loyal to the line of Erdoğan since the day he entered politics. He has great sympathy among those coming from the Balkans.