Turkey confirms new premier
Turkey’s ruling party held a special convention yesterday to confirm a long-time ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as its new chairman and next prime minister. Binali Yildirim (pictured), the transport and communications minister and a founding member of the governing Justice and Development Party, is set to replace Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who announced earlier this month that he is stepping down amid differences with Erdogan. Yildirim, 60, who is running unopposed for the party’s leadership, is widely expected to be more in tune with Erdogan, who is pushing for an overhaul of the constitution that would give the largely ceremonial presidency executive powers. Traditionally, the post of premier in Turkey goes to the leader of the largest party in parliament and Erdogan is expected to formally ask Yildirim to form a new government after the convention. Supporters credit Yildirim for his role in developing major infrastructure projects that have helped buoy Turkey’s economy. But critics, including the leader of the main opposition party, have accused him of corruption. Yildirim has rejected the accusation. Davutoglu fell out with the president over an array of issues.