Turkey's PM nominates defense minister for speaker’s office, rules out link with coalition bargain
Spain's Defence Minister Pedro Morenes Eulate (L) shakes hands with his German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen (R) as thier Turkish counterpart İsmet Yılmaz (C) looks on prior to the start of a NATO Defence meeting at the NATO headquarter in Brussels on June 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO/Thierry CharlierThe Justice and Development Party (AKP) has announced its candidate for the parliamentary speaker’s office, nominating incumbent Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz.
“As the AKP, we have always attached importance to common sense and common conscience,” Prime Minister and AKP leader Ahmet Davutoğlu said June 26 in a bid to underline that their decision was a result of comprehensive consultations with AKP deputies and executives.
Speaking at a press conference to announce Yılmaz’s candidacy at a press conference, Davutoğlu also acknowledged that the candidacy of Education Minister Nabi Avcı was favored as much as Yılmaz’s candidacy. However, following a meeting with Avcı and Yılmaz late on June 25, and also after an exchange of ideas at a Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting, they agreed on Yılmaz’s nomination.
Echoing Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Davutoğlu dismissed arguments that the candidacy of former CHP leader and acting Parliamentary Speaker Deniz Baykal was a sign of a coming AKP-CHP coalition.
Nonetheless, Davutoğlu welcomed a statement by Kılıçdaroğlu in which he said they would not act with “revanchist” motives during talks for a coalition government.
Who is Yılmaz?
Yılmaz, 54, graduated from the Department of Machinery of the Istanbul Maritime Academy (now Maritime Faculty of the Istanbul Technical University).
Yılmaz studied at the World Maritime University in Sweden where he was granted an MSc on “Technical Management of Shipping Companies” and an MA from Marmara University’s Institute of Social Sciences. Yılmaz also holds a PhD in private law from Ankara University’s Institute of Social Sciences.
Yılmaz was elected to parliament for the first time in the June 2011 election as a deputy representing his hometown of Sivas. He was appointed as defense minister of the 61st Turkish government in July 2011.