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Turkish Premier Announces Major Cabinet Reshuffle

6 ministerial changes, 5 newcomers join Cabinet / Turkish premier announces major Cabinet reshuffle

Five new ministers joined the Turkish Cabinet on Wednesday in a reshuffle of government posts.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced the changes following an unscheduled meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara.

Three ministers were promoted to deputy prime minister positions — Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, Defense Minister Fikri Isik and Health Minister Recep Akdag.

Hakan Cavusoglu, a lawmaker from the northwestern province of Bursa, was also appointed as a deputy prime minister without having previously held a Cabinet post while Mehmet Simsek retained his position as one of five deputies to Yildirim.

The five ministerial newcomers included Julide Sarieroglu, who became labor and social security minister and the second female Cabinet member.

Also appointed were Abdulhamit Gul, who was assigned the Justice Ministry portfolio; Osman Askin Bak, who became youth and sports minister; new Health Minister Ahmet Demircan; and Ahmet Esref Fakibaba, appointed to the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.

Six existing ministers were reappointed, meaning a total of 11 changes in the 27-member Cabinet.

The reshuffle followed April’s constitutional referendum that allowed Erdogan to resume his official ties to the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.

Erdogan led the AK Party for 13 years from 2001 but had to step aside when he became president in August 2014, due to a legal requirement for presidents to be politically neutral.

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