“Stick to your knit­ting”


The cabi­net reshuf­fle was seen as in­evitable af­ter the March 31 lo­cal elec­tions and the Is­tan­bul elec­tions on June 23. The ru­mor is that the cabi­net will be “partly re­newed and partly strength­ened” as soon as Pres­i­dent Tayyip Er­do­gan re­turns from his trip to New York. As such, there is in­tense gos­sip about the min­istries.

The gen­eral ex­pec­ta­tion is that Bi­nali Yildirim will move to Bestepe in the first change and he will be Er­do­gan’s main ad­vi­sor. Some claim that Yildirim will re­place Fuat Ok­tay, but my ob­ser­va­tion is dif­fer­ent. I be­lieve that Ok­tay, who served as Prime Min­istry Un­der­sec­re­tary in the old sys­tem be­fore his Deputy Pres­i­dent role to­day, will con­tinue as the “state pil­lar” in the new sys­tem. The sec­ond gen­eral ex­pec­ta­tion is that the In­te­rior, De­fense and Jus­tice min­is­ters will re­main. Pres­i­dent Er­do­gan sees th­ese three min­istries as in­dis­pens­able for fight­ing ter­ror­ism and seeks har­mony there. Both the AK Party and Bestepe think that “some cir­cles are try­ing ev­ery­thing to keep th­ese min­is­ters out of the cabi­net.” If there is such a cleav­age, which side will Pres­i­dent Er­do­gan stand on? Pres­i­dent Er­do­gan re­ceived very de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about the ju­di­cial de­bates and al­le­ga­tions from both the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and other sources and sup­ported him by say­ing ‘stick to your knit­ting’. Will the cam­paign against th­ese min­is­ters con­tinue de­spite Er­do­gan’s sup­port? We’ll wait and see.

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