“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.