New AK Party Cabinet staffed by Erdogan loyalists

The Cabinet, which was announced on Tuesday by Davutoglu, includes many controversial figures, including Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, former minister and new Minister of Transport Binali Yıldırım, who is a close ally of Erdogan’s, and new Interior Minister Efkan Ala.

Turkish media reports suggested a chasm between Erdogan and Davutoglu regarding who should lead the economy. Babacan — reportedly favored by Davutoglu and who had presided over Turkey’s economy for the past 13 years — was left out of the Cabinet, another indication that Erdogan has put his stamp on the new government.

When Davutoglu failed to forge a coalition government following the general election in June, Turkey held a snap election on Nov. 1 in which the AK Party secured 317 seats, easily enough to rule as a single party.

The exclusion of Babacan, who was previously in charge of the economy and seen as an anchor of market reforms and investor confidence from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Cabinet, appears to be the last nail in the coffin of Davutoglu’s attempts to move out of Erdogan’s shadow.

“It is clear that financial markets have an affection for Babacan,” said Fatih Keresteci of HSBC in Turkey. Keresteci told Today’s Zaman recently that the markets would react according to whether Babacan, a former Fulbright scholar with an MBA from Northwestern University in the US, is named deputy prime minister in charge of the economy.


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