Turkey's election cabinet members take over posts
New Deputy PM Tuğrul Türkeş (L) receives flowers from Bülent Arınç during a handover ceremony. AA photoHandover ceremonies were held on Aug. 29 for the members of the interim government that will be in charge until after the early elections on Nov. 1.
The new cabinet, announced by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Aug. 28 after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s approval, consists from 12 members of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), two members of the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), one lawmaker from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and 11 independents.
Tuğrul Türkeş, the only MHP lawmaker who accepted Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s offer for a seat in the interim government despite his party’s decision, took over the deputy prime minister’s post from Bülent Arınç on Aug. 29.
Five lawmakers of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), four from the MHP and one from the HDP refused Davutoğlu’s offers for cabinet seats.
The MHP administration said Türkeş should resign immediately or face expulsion from the party. However Türkeş, son of the party’s founder and legendary nationalist leader Alparslan Türkeş, defied the calls.
“I will not resign, and nobody can expel me from the party,” Türkeş was quoted as saying in daily Milliyet on Aug. 29.
“This is my father’s party. We are all members of the nationalist movement, members of the MHP, but we should be able to say when something is wrong,” Türkeş said, criticizing MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli for calling for an early election hours after the June 7 election results were announced.
Türkeş also denied reports that hew would join the AKP, and said he did not "even get an invitation."
Meanwhile, two HDP lawmakers in the government, EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Ali Haydar Konca and Development Minister Müslüm Doğan, said they will not have any handover ceremony due to the clashes and deaths in the country’s southeast.
“We do not care about the posts, all we care about is the silencing of the arms,” Konca said. “We will not use red license plates [used on the official cars of the country’s ministers], we will not have armies of bodyguards, we will be together with the people,” he added.
Another handover ceremony was held on Aug. 29 at the Customs and Trade Ministry. Cenap Aşçı, who was appointed as the Customs Undersecretary on Aug. 27 and announced as the new mister one day later, took over the post from Nurettin Canikli.
The former Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik handed over his seat to Ahmet Erdem with a ceremony held in Ankara.
The new Interior Minister Selami Altınok, meanwhile, issued a farewell message as Istanbul’s police chief before moving to Ankara.
“I had the honor of serving this beautiful city and its beautiful people for 20 months,” Altınok, who was appointed to the post in the wake of a major graft probe launched on Dec. 17, 2013, said in his message.
“From now on, I will be my best to serve the whole country in my new mission,” he added.