Economy management is the sore spot of the cabinet reshuffle
The cabinet shuffle remains the primary agenda item in many political backroom discussions. Even so, most observers agree the revision will not be finalized until after the holy month of Ramadan, despite the growing expectation that the changes will be small-scale. As such, one must look beyond the vocal calls for improvement in regional balance and performance and at the heart of the issue: harmony in political vision. In the AK Party salons, the overarching consensus is that the economic administration is at odds with itself and that this situation has interrupted the reform process. The issue of concern is how changes will take place and how balance will be established when expectations are not high.
Consultation in AK Party
The AK Party Central Executive Committee (MYK) was convened for the first time under the presidency of President and AK Party Chairman Erdogan last week. The road map of the new era, called “the breakthrough period”, was discussed at the meeting. Topping the agenda were issues relating to ministerial reforms and reorganizing municipal governments and party organizations, especially in the first 180 days. It was decided to complete the provincial and district congresses by the end of 2017. The first meeting with AK Party organizations will take place on July 1, focusing on the fundementals of the new era.
The parliament is preparing to go on holiday until September 12. Consequently, the adjustment laws regarding the Presidential system and the amendments to be made in the internal regulation of the parliament will be made in autumn.
Criticism over the expatriation
There was a criticism from the opposition about the call for 130 people, including Fethullah Gulen, to return home within 3 months by the Ministry of Interior or face expatriation. Republican People’s Party (CHP) Group Vice President Engin Altay criticized the move as a veiled attempt to prevent Gulen from returning to Turkey. “That was the only way to prevent the return of Gulen,” he said. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahceli added that it is not logical to accelerate the expatriation of these individuals.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag responded to the criticisms, saying that the expatriation threat did not mean Turkey had given up on Gulen’s return and stripping him of citizenship would not be an obstacle for the return. We will see in three months how the cabinet will proceed, while government representatives say it does not mean that those who do not turn back in the period given are automatically removed from citizenship as the final decision is made by the cabinet. The opposition parties warned that Turkey should not intervene in the conflict between the Arab countries and should stay neutral.