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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announces new cabinet | News

An internationally respected former banker has been given the top economic job and a powerful intelligence chief has been named foreign minister.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan named former Economy Minister and internationally renowned ex-banker Mehmet Simsek as Finance Minister and announced the unveiling of his new cabinet .

Erdogan, who was sworn in for a third presidential term on Saturday, replaced almost all cabinet members except the health and culture ministers.

Simsek, who was finance minister from 2009 to 2015 and deputy prime minister in charge of the economy until 2018 before stepping down ahead of a series of lira crashes that year, was highly regarded by investors.

His appointment could mark a departure from Erdogan’s years of unorthodox economic policies that have included keeping interest rates low despite soaring inflation and tight state control over markets.

A former Merrill Lynch economist, Simsek is known for his opposition to Erdogan’s unconventional policies.

Turkey is grappling with a cost-of-living crisis, with inflation surging to 85% in October before falling back to 44% in May. The currency has lost more than 10 percent of its value against the dollar since the start of the year.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks next to new cabinet members during a news conference in Ankara
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks with members of his new cabinet during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey [Umit Bektas/Reuters]

Erdogan’s intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan, a former soldier, was named the new foreign minister, succeeding Mevrut Cavusoglu, who had held the post since 2014.

Fidan, one of Erdogan’s closest aides, has led the National Intelligence Service (MIT) since 2010 and, before that, was an adviser to Erdogan in the prime minister’s office.

In 2012, Fidan was the subject of an investigation into MIT’s secret peace talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) armed group in Oslo, which was subsequently dropped.

Yasar Guler, Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, was announced as Defense Minister, succeeding Hulusi Akar. The 69-year-old was Turkey’s military chief during Turkey’s military invasion of Syria in 2019 and 2020, and also oversaw subsequent military operations in Syria and Iraq.

Erdogan also announced that Geoff Dete Yilmaz would serve as his vice president. Yilmaz previously served as Development Minister, Erdogan’s Adalet ve Kalkınma Party (Justice and Development Party, AK Party) economic affairs vice-chairman and deputy prime minister in charge of the economy.

Yilmaz, 56, has been chairman of the Turkish parliament’s planning and budget committee since November 2020.

Here is the full list of Erdogan’s new cabinet:

  • Vice President: Cevdet Yilmaz
  • foreign secretary: Hakamfidan
  • finance minister: Mohammad Simsek
  • defense minister: Yasar Ghul
  • Minister of the Interior: Aliyelikaya
  • Minister of Education: Yusuf Tekin
  • Attorney General: Yilmaz Tonk
  • family and social services minister: Mahinur Ozdemir Goktas
  • minister of labor and social security: Vedic Isi Khan
  • minister of environment, urbanization and climate change: Mohammad Ozaseki
  • minister of energy and natural resources: Alpaslan Balak Tower
  • youth and sports minister: Uthman Askin Bak
  • minister of culture and tourism: Mohammad Nuri Ersoy
  • Sanitation Committee: Fahrettin Coca
  • minister of industrial technology: Mohammad Fatih Kassir
  • Minister of Agriculture and Forestry: Ibrahim Yumakli
  • trade minister: Omar Borat
  • transport and infrastructure minister: Abdelkader Ullaloglu

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