Turkish government announces new roles for deputy PMs in refreshed cabinet

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ speaks to press following a cabinet meeting on July 24, 2017 in Ankara Turkey. (AA Photo)
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ speaks to press following a cabinet meeting on July 24, 2017 in Ankara Turkey. (AA Photo)

The Turkish government's new spokesperson and former justice minister Bekir Bozdağ Monday announced the new assignments of roles for the five deputy prime ministers in the newly shuffled cabinet.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting in Ankara, Bozdağ outlined the division of work between the five deputy PMs, including himself.

After the Cabinet revision, Bozdağ saidthe National Security Council (MGK), Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT), the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) and the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) will work directly with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım. TMSF was previously oversaw by former Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli.

According to the new assignments, Bozdağ will be the new government spokesperson and will be responsible for managing the government's relations with the Turkish Parliament, the Directorate of Religious Affairs Foundation (Diyanet), the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and Anadolu Agency.

The assignments were carried out by the former Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş before, who is now the culture and tourism minister.

Mehmet Şimşek has become the sole minister who runs the economy. He will continue ensuring coordination with economic institutions such as the Central Bank, Ziraat Bank, Halk Bank, Vakıflar Bank and Turkey Development Bank.

In addition to his former assignments, Şimşek will also oversee other major economic institutions like the Banking Supervisory and Regulatory Authority (BDDK), and the Capital Markets' Board (SPK). Meanwhile, the Eximbank will be supervised by the Ministry of Economy.

Former Defense Minister Fikri Işık will be responsible for following the execution process of the decisions and measures taken by the National Security Council (MGK). He will also oversee the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), Supreme Council for Culture, Language and History Atatürk Culture Center (AKMB) as well as the Personal Data Protection Board (KVKK).

Former Health Minister Recep Akdağ will coordinate Turkey's ties with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) and will also work in coordination with Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Investment Agency.

Hakan Çavuşoğlu, one of the six new ministers who entered the Cabinet, will be responsible for the Alliance of Civilizations project, Turkey's 100th-anniversary events preparations, the General Directorate for Foundations and Turkish expats around the world.

Last week, the government announced a long-awaited reshuffling of the Cabinet announced by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

In a major reshuffling, six new ministers entered the Cabinet on July 19, with Hakan Çavuşoğlu as deputy prime minister, Abdülhamit Gül as justice minister, Jülide Sarıeroğlu as labor and social security minister, Osman Aşkın Bak as the youth and sports minister, Ahmet Demircan as health minister and Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba as food, agriculture, and livestock minister.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Prime Ministers Tuğrul Türkeş and Veysi Kaynak, former Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı, former Youth and Sports Akif Çağatay Kılıç, former Labor and Social Security Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu and former Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Faruk Çelik were removed from the Cabinet.

The 65th government in Turkish Republican history, also known as the Yıldırım Cabinet, was formed on May 24, 2016, after former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's resignation on May 5.

The only change in the Cabinet took place with former Interior Minister Efkan Ala's resignation on Aug. 31, 2016. Ala was replaced with Süleyman Soylu, the labor and social security minister at the time, while Mehmet Müezzinoğlu was appointed to Soylu's former post.

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