Friday, 10 June 2011

Turkey’s government gets a reshuffle

With general elections just round the corner, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government will overhaul current Cabinet structure and introduce six new ministries while making changes to others.

He said there will be 25 members of the Cabinet, including the prime minister instead of the current 27 members and there will be four deputy prime ministers and 20 ministers, currently there are three deputy prime ministers.

Elaborating on why the government felt the need to make changes to the current structure, Erdoğan said the new arrangement aims to resolve current problems in the functioning of the Cabinet and the ministries and to enable the government to work faster and more effectively.

The first civil society reaction to the prime minister's announcement came from the Women's Platform of Equality Mechanisms, an umbrella group with more than 80 women's associations as its members. The group released a harshly toned statement, picking apart the announced name change to the ministry in charge of women and family set to be renamed the Ministry of Family and Social Services.The group has already launched a petition campaign against the planned naming.

All eyes are on Turkey as it goes to the polls in a few days; Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AK Party are expected to win hands down.


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