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Reshaping Perspectives and Catalyzing Diplomatic Evolution

Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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WorldAsiaRecep Tayyip Erdogan took over as head of state, changed government - Reuters

Recep Tayyip Erdogan took over as head of state, changed government – Reuters

The event brought together 78 foreign representatives, including 21 heads of state and 13 heads of government. Our country was represented at the ceremony by Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, who conveyed greetings and congratulations to the Turkish leader of Russian President Vladimir Putin. A limousine with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by an impressive escort of bikers with flashing lights, toured the city. Despite the bad weather, tens of thousands of cheering supporters met their leader in the streets in oilcloth raincoats. They waved small national flags and held flowers in their hands. As a result, the car of the Turkish head of state drove to the presidential complex, literally covered with a huge carpet of red roses. At the final stage, the motorcyclist guards were replaced by riders in blue uniforms with aiguillettes and white helmets. In the same uniform, an honor guard awaited Erdogan on the way to the palace.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan entered the building accompanied by his wife Emine Erdogan. Inside, they were greeted by guards wearing the armor of ancient times – gleaming helmets, chain mail and armour. The soldiers held spears in their hands, behind their backs, they had bows and quivers with arrows, and curved Turkish sabers hung from their belts. Erdogan himself, on the occasion of the inauguration, put on a strict black suit and a white shirt, on which a dark pink tie stood out. In the huge room where most of the ceremony was to take place, the Turkish leader was expected by many guests from different parts of the world. In honor of the winner, the orchestra performed “Turkish March” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Together with his wife, Erdogan walked along the white podium – so that all the guests could clearly see the winner – and only after that he descended into the hall. Some guests, even from the front rows, filmed what was happening on their smartphones. The Turkish head of state personally greeted many people. He exchanged warm handshakes and kisses with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. In the hall, this politician was seated to the right of the Turkish leader. Everything indicated that they had a special relationship. It was Aliyev who was the first of the foreign heads of state to congratulate Erdogan on his victory in the vote.

It should be noted that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also came to the inauguration. The last time the head of the Armenian government visited Turkey was in 2009. After the celebrations in Ankara, Ilham Aliyev and Nikol Pashinyan held a short meeting to discuss issues of normalizing bilateral relations.

In addition, other representatives of former Soviet republics also attended the inauguration. Among them, for example, the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the leader of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov and the Uzbek leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Erdogan paid particular attention to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. He firmly shook hands with the leader of the Bolivarian Republic and patted his shoulder.

Interestingly, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also arrived at the inauguration ceremony of the Turkish President. At the beginning of July, the Lithuanian from Vilnius will host a summit of the North Atlantic Alliance, during which an attempt will be made to involve Sweden in this bloc. The only obstacle to the successful implementation of this idea is Turkey’s position. Yesterday in Istanbul, closed to the press, negotiations were held between Erdogan and Stoltenberg. The main focus of the conversation was, as expected, on the question of Stockholm joining NATO.

But the United States only delegated its ambassador Jeffrey Flake to the celebrations in Ankara, who during the election campaign did not hide Washington’s preferences and defiantly met with opposition representative Kemal Kılıçdaroglu.

Russia was represented at the ceremony by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who conveyed congratulations to Erdogan from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Telegram channel of the State Duma of the Russian Federation

After the inauguration, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the composition of the new government, in which hardly anyone remained from the previous cabinet. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, 58, who performed well in the fight against the pandemic and in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake in February this year, retained his post. Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, 55, also remains in government.

The change in the composition of the Turkish government is due to the fact that Erdogan must demonstrate to his supporters the country’s will to carry out economic reforms

At the same time, there have been some changes in key departments. Thus, Hakan Fidan, 55, who studied in the United States, became the new head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Since 2010, he has headed the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). Former Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has joined the legislature after being elected MP from his native province of Antalya.

Mehmet Simsek received the Presidency from the Minister of Finance and Treasury of Turkey. This official has an impressive experience in the banking sector, and is also known for his ability to build constructive relations with foreign investors, which should help the Turkish state to build a new financial policy and to face the economic crisis . Shimshek has previously said that he intends to build a predictable economy, and the main goal for him is to achieve macroeconomic stability and reduce inflation in the country.

Istanbul Provincial Governor Ali Yerlikaya, 54, who has held the post since 2019, has been named Turkey’s interior minister. He replaced Suleiman Soyla, who repeatedly criticized the United States and its ambassador during the election campaign.

Military General Yasar Güler, 68, who has held the post of Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces since July 2018, has been appointed to head Turkey’s Defense Ministry. The only woman in the cabinet was the head of the Ministry of Family Affairs, Makhinur Goktash. She was born in Belgium, where she then represented Turkey as an ambassador for more than ten years. Since 2020, she has headed the Turkish diplomatic mission in Algeria.

A comment

Elena Suponina, political scientist, orientalist:

– The change in the composition of the Turkish government is due to the fact that Erdogan must demonstrate to his supporters that the country is ready to carry out economic reforms. Erdogan’s main task is to improve the socio-economic situation in the state and the living conditions of citizens, which is why the most serious changes have affected the economic bloc. The positions of Minister of Finance and Minister of Economy came to people who received a Western education and were willing to combine the traditional approaches of modern Turkey with the developments of Western institutions. So far, Erdogan has resisted advice from the IMF and other Western institutions, but now he will still have to implement it. The appointments in the ruling bloc of government are linked to the fact that Erdogan, given his age and health, is unlikely to stand in the next elections. He must think of a successor within the ruling party and already “bring in” those in whom he has the most confidence in important positions. Outgoing ministers have already been offered interesting posts, including deputy ministers. Erdogan thanks those who helped him, but now somewhat younger people have come to key positions.

Prepared by Ivan Sysoev

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