Introduction to the Binali Yıldırım cabinet
I think the new Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı is the perfect name for the post. But in fact I don’t think any different for his predecessor Mahir Ünal. He was hardworking and well-equipped for the position, with the motivation to make a difference. It would have been good if he had been allowed to conclude the reforms he started under the “culture package” name. We hope that Nabi Avcı now ensures that these reforms are followed through.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also agrees that the two ministries that the AK Party has failed in are the Culture Ministry and the Education Ministry. Avcı’s move from one to the other may end up helping both of them.
Another surprise in the new cabinet was the shifting of İsmet Yılmaz from the Defense Ministry to the Education Ministry. Avcı was an academic, teacher and professor who had studied education. But if even he couldn’t sort out the Education Ministry, how is it possible that İsmet Yılmaz - who has a completely different background and experience – will be able to? Perhaps the ministry needs some revolutionary changes. It is a wrecked system that Yılmaz now has responsibility for correcting; he had as heavy burden, I wish him well.
The wheel of the economy remained with Mehmet Şimşek and the reins have not been taken from him.
Markets had been waiting anxiously. For Şimşek to remain as an insurance of the economy was seen as good in terms of confidence-building. Any fluctuation, panic or turbulence was thus avoided.
Interior Minister Efkan Ala, who remained in his post, represents institutional continuity in the fight against terrorism. Ala is also responsible for the police and security institutions, which are struggling against the so-called “parallel structure.” If he was removed at such a critical turn, it could have caused some kind of weakness in this area. So delicate balances were not disrupted; stability was maintained in the Interior Affairs bureaucracy.
Cevdet Yılmaz, the former development minister, has been reappointed within the party administration and removed from his government post. The reconstruction of ruined districts where military operations have been conducted, primarily Sur and Cizre in the southeast, would have been under his coordination. He knew the region and was in close contact with the people. So the government should explain why it saw such a change as necessary. I hope the rebuilding process is not negatively affected and Lütfi Elvan, the person appointed as the new minister of development, fills the gap suitably.
I do not know some of the new names adequately to make an evaluation. But it should be said that Mehmet Özhaseki’s appointment as environment and urbanization minister was actually late.
Health Minister Recep Akdağ’s return is timely, coming at a time when the government’s early successes in health reforms have been declining. Many things changed in Akdağ’s three-year absence and he will now have to rebuild a system that he first installed. I wish him good luck.
Departing Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu may have lost his position, but the fact that he has been included in the central party administration is as sign that President Erdoğan has not completely lost trust in him.
Let us hope for the best for the new government, both for them and for us.