Undoubtedly, the economy will be one of the top concerns for the new administration, as evidenced by Erdoğan’s selection of Cevdet Yılmaz, an economic expert, as vice president, in addition to Mehmet Şimşek as the economy chief, highlighting this emphasis.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent cabinet unveiling, following a historic inauguration ceremony attended by a multitude of world leaders and esteemed foreign officials, has captured the attention of both local and international media.
Undoubtedly, as a leader of profound political ingenuity, Erdoğan’s deliberations in forming his esteemed “A team” have ignited a flurry of speculative discourse, particularly surrounding two distinguished individuals.
The prominent mention of former economy chief Mehmet Şimşek and Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan signifies the pivotal role that economy and diplomacy will assume within the new government’s agenda.
Erdoğan’s numerous encounters with Şimşek in the lead-up to the elections fueled widespread conjecture regarding his appointment as the chief of the economy — a sphere that has captivated Erdoğan’s attention amid mounting concerns over inflation.
As Türkiye strives to recover from the devastating earthquakes that ravaged the country’s southeastern region in early February, it must confront the broader challenges of global economic downturns and their reverberations, challenges shared by nations worldwide.
Şimşek, 56, was seen as a highly esteemed figure by investors during his tenure as finance minister and deputy prime minister from 2009 to 2018. Şimşek emphasized the imperative for Türkiye to reestablish itself on a “rational ground” to ensure economic predictability during his address at the handover ceremony in Ankara, alongside his predecessor, Nureddin Nebati.
Şimşek articulates the primary objective of the new government as enhancing the social welfare. Anchored in the principles of transparency, consistency, predictability, and adherence to international norms, Şimşek asserts that a rules-based and predictable Turkish economy will serve as the cornerstone for achieving the desired prosperity.
Without a doubt, the economy will rank among the foremost priorities of the new government. Erdoğan’s appointment of Cevdet Yılmaz, an orthodox economic manager, as vice president attests to this focus.
Yılmaz, the 56-year-old seasoned state leader who previously held positions as minister of development, deputy chair of the Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) head for economic affairs, and deputy Prime Minister in charge of the economy, brings a wealth of experience to his new role. Since November 2020, he has also chaired the Turkish Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission.
Top intelligence chief takes on foreign minister role
Another subject of intense speculation pertains to the replacement of Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the former Foreign Minister who has assumed the role of a lawmaker from his hometown of Antalya. Hakan Fidan, acclaimed for his remarkable career as Türkiye’s premier intelligence operative, emerged as the frontrunner for this crucial position.
Fidan’s influence extends beyond intelligence and security matters, encompassing his role as a transformative figure in foreign policy and diplomatic affairs, particularly in Türkiye’s involvement in Syria, Libya, and other geopolitical arenas.
Speaking at the handover ceremony in Ankara, Fidan affirms his unwavering commitment to Türkiye’s national foreign policy vision, rooted in the country’s independence from external influences and grounded in the nation’s sovereignty’s will. Expressing gratitude for his appointment as foreign minister, Fidan acknowledges the weighty responsibilities he previously bore during his 13-year tenure at the national intelligence organization.
The congratulatory messages pouring in from foreign ministers around the globe underscore Fidan’s international recognition. Fidan served as National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Chief since 2010 as he was appointed by then-Prime Minister Erdoğan. Before his appointment to MIT, Fidan worked in Erdoğan’s office as a deputy undersecretary.
The appointment of Şimşek and Fidan, along with other accomplished ministers highly regarded for their past achievements, unequivocally underscores the new cabinet’s resolute determination to prioritize action.
As Türkiye embarks upon its new centennial, these ministers will take bold strides toward realizing Erdoğan’s visionary agenda for post-2023, encapsulated within the ambitious framework of the “Century of Türkiye.”
A robust economy that alleviates the burdens of inflation and heightened diplomatic prowess will undoubtedly elevate Türkiye’s international standing. While Şimşek’s expertise enhances Türkiye’s economic profile, Fidan’s multifaceted portfolio, encompassing security, intelligence and diplomacy, will play a pivotal role in bolstering Türkiye’s influential diplomatic endeavors within both regional and international domains.
As Şimşek addresses inflation and price stability, Fidan’s imminent priorities may include forging a path toward normalization with Syria. Naturally, each ministry within the cabinet will confront a comprehensive agenda, ranging from agriculture and energy to trade and sports.
The expectations are high, demanding successful outcomes in the ensuing months. The collective efforts of these new ministers will shape Türkiye’s trajectory as it navigates a complex and ever-evolving global landscape.