Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will revise the presidential cabinet by Eid al-Adha next month at the latest, pro-government Islamist Yeni Akit columnist Aburrahman Dilipak said.
“There is a high expectation that there will be revision in cabinet. This will certainly happen in the days ahead or most certainly after Eid al-Adha at the latest. There will be political consequences if this does not happen,‘’ Dilipak said during an interview published online.
The reports on a pending cabinet shuffle arrive after the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) upset in the March 31 local elections, which saw the Islamist party lose five of Turkey’s most populous provinces, including capital Ankara and financial hub Istanbul.
Pressure has been mounting for Erdoğan amid growing discontent with Turkey’s strongman within the AKP, which has ruled Turkey for 17 years. The party’s former heavy weights and one-time Erdoğan allies, such as former deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, Ali Babacan, have resigned from the party and announced plans for a new political movement.
Erdoğan is looking to make changes to the country’s finance ministry, led by Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak, as the country battles its way out of a crisis, according to Turkish media outlets.
The country’s economy plunged into a recession, defined as two-straight quarters of negative quarter-on-quarter growth, after a currency crisis sent the lira to record lows in August. The government has since sought to stimulate an economic revival with tax cuts and cheap loans from state-run banks.
Furthermore, Erdoğan has already announced the ruling AKP is moving up its 7th extraordinary congress, originally expected to take place in August 2021, to a date in the fall.
The AKP has held an extraordinary congress every three years since its founding in 2001, with the latest taking place on Aug. 18, 2018.
The Turkish president is looking to change his ruling party’s provincial and local organizations that were unsuccessful in the last two elections of 2018 – the local and general elections – through the congress, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.