Will Prime Minister Erdoğan shuffle his cabinet?
Göksel Bozkurt ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The Cabinet has one of its routine meetings in Ankara. Prime Minister Erdoğan is not the type of leader who likes to shuffle his aides around while he is in office and until this day has acted quite conservatively about changing his cadres.Prime Minister Erdoğan had to part with Ankara for about three weeks due to his health problems. Certain incidents that unraveled during this period were regarded as a harbinger of what might happen in Erdoğan’s absence within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
President Abdullah Gül vetoed a bill that would have reduced penalties for suspects in the match-fixing scandal. Distinct voices began to surface within the party when Prime Minister Erdoğan was unable to voice his own opinion on the matter as he was under treatment. Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç lashed out the hardest and said no one could dare to send the bill back to the Office of the President. Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı, too, backed the criticisms.
While certain individuals such as Gaziantep deputy Şamil Tayyar and Karabük deputy Mevlüt Akgün directly criticized the draft bill, others such as Istanbul deputy Hakan Şükür chose to issue a muted reaction.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Group Deputy Presidents Mustafa Elitaş and Nurettin Canikli led the campaign to send the bill back to President Gül despite his veto, and the president last week approved the bill.
It was again Prime Minister Erdoğan, however, who had the last say in the debate. The prime minister first contacted Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç and then appearing in a meeting of the AKP’s group administrators through a video teleconference said he wanted the bill to pass and issued a directive for it to be sent to the president’s office without any changes. Erdoğan specifically requested his party officials refrain from offending President Gül through publicly issued statements during this process. The group administration then took special care to observe this request when sending the bill back to the president’s office.
Prime Minister Erdoğan now once more stands under the spotlight following these developments that took place during his absence. Whether the prime minister would apply any sanctions toward those who helped to create a more divided image of the AKP, even if they did not really strain party discipline, was a matter of interest. Whispers emanating from political backrooms, however, spoke of very different rumors.
It goes without saying that Erdoğan was discomforted by the developments that arose with the bill on match fixing and particularly by the decisions of some 74 deputies who chose to abstain from voting. Despite this, however, sanctions such as shunning party members or leaving them out of the cabinet are not expected in the short run.
Erdoğan is not the type of leader who likes to shuffle his aides around while he is in office and until this day has acted quite conservatively about changing his cadres. Those who know him well, however, are certain he took note of the developments that unfolded during his three week absence.
Expectations are running high that Erdoğan could shuffle the cabinet while refreshing the party’s frontline image during the AKP’s congress in the fall of 2012. It is rumored that the prime minister is going to take heed of the developments that occurred in his absence while refreshing his cabinet and party image. In fact, these rumors do not seem to be wrong either, as it is known that Erdoğan had refrained from putting in the lists the names of many people he had earlier noted down during the 2007 elections and the cabinet shuffle that followed.
COMMISSION TO PROBE MURDERS
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have long been proposing the establishment of a commission to probe unsolved murders. A new idea has emerged within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which, so far, had shown little interest in the idea. The head of the Parliament Human Rights Commission Ayhan Sefer Üstün believes if the Parliament
Investigation Commission is established, then it will only serve for four months and this will hardly be adequate. A sub-commission established under the Human Rights Commission, however, could conduct investigations for several years and shed light on numerous incidents, according to him.
THE GREENS’ CONSTITUTION!
The Green Party of Turkey has presented its expectations about an “ecological constitution” to Parliament’s Constitution Conciliation Commission. The Greens request that “sustainable development be transformed into sustainable living” and believe Turkey could set an example before the world by framing an environmentally sensitive constitution. The Greens have also proposed the concept of constitutional citizenship in place of the current definition of Turkishness. A 50 percent quota for women in every sort of representative body is among their prerequisites. The Greens have further suggested conscientious objection to military service, assurances against gender discrimination and the right to one’s mother tongue ought absolutely to enter the constitution as well.