The end of dualism at the top of the economic administration

The end of dualism at the top of the economic administration

The long awaited cabinet reshuffle has finally occurred on July 19.

We can say that one of the most important factors of the reshuffle is securing a backing down from having two heads at the helm of the economic administration.

When we look at the cabinet reshuffle in general, we understand that what President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meant by the  “metal fatigue” for the reshuffle are the old names that have ran ministries for a long time.

The exclusion of Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı, Agriculture Minister Faruk Çelik, Youth and Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kılıç and Labour Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu from the cabinet can be interpreted as such. 

The appointment of Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, Defence Minister Fikri Işık and Health Minister Recep Akdağ as deputy prime minister can be interpreted in the same context.

It is clear that while generally relatively young people have been brought to the helm of new ministries, the ethnic as well as the balances in terms of constituencies were also taken into consideration.

By the way, we can say that another factor that has been taken into consideration is the fact that those leaving the cabinet are names close to President Erdoğan who will not pose any threat to the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) governance.

It will not be a surprise to me if some among them were to become advisors to the presidency.

It can be said that the concern for “will they be taken to be a part of FETÖ (the Fethullahist Terror Organization) if they are excluded from the cabinet,” has been overcome with these choices.

If we consider that of the 26 member cabinet, 11 have either been excluded or have seen their ministries change shows us that this reshuffle is not a small reshuffle as some have claimed. 

We are also seeing a sign that there won’t be changes in the highly controversial domestic and foreign policies. 

The fact that the Interior Minister, the Foreign Minister and the EU Minister have kept their positions shows us this.

The importance of coordination

As we have predicted in this column, Ali Babacan did not make a comeback. Instead, Mehmet Şimşek who has a similar approach but has shown special care to work in coordination with the president lately in comparison to Babacan was the only person keeping his title as deputy PM.

The importance of this is the fact that the task of economic coordination shared between Nurettin Canikli and Mehmet Şimşek now rests only upon the shoulders of Şimşek, as other Deputy Prime Ministers do not have an economic past.

Had Ali Babacan stepped in again, economic circles and markets would have been happier.

However, the decision to keep Şimşek will be welcomed by the markets.

Nurettin Canikli was on good terms with the banking system but there were sometimes open but most often secret conflicts of initiatives with Şimşek as they had differing views.

Following the transition to dualism we had underlined several times the need for coordination under one head.

It is a positive step to give up on this mistake, but what will matter is implementation.

Although coordination appears to be left only to Mehmet Şimşek, all of the other ministers about economy, except the Labor Minister have kept their places.

Will the president and prime minister use Şimşek as the only minister responsible for coordination or will the system based on multiple heads in the economy with former ministers continue?

In short, if Şimşek’s coordination will stay on paper, we will not be saved from dualism.