ANKARA: Following Sunday’s twin votes that marked Turkey’s switch to an executive presidential system, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to announce his next Cabinet, which is likely to have a nationalistic but also a technocratic tone.
As part of its work on the Cabinet list, the AKP’s central decision-making bodies will convene on June 29 in Istanbul. The new Cabinet structure is expected to be shaped before July 8 when the final results of the elections will be announced.
As a reward for their support during the election campaign, Erdogan is expected to provide his Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) ally with seats in the Cabinet.
The MHP and AKP alliance won 53 percent of the votes in the parliamentary polls.
The probable presence of figures affiliated with the MHP in the new government is considered a signal of Turkey’s slide toward a hard-line domestic and foreign policy.
In his victory speech, Erdogan signaled the continuation of Turkey’s military operations in northern Syria against Kurdish YPG militia.
The MHP and AKP agree on a security-oriented approach against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants at home and against Syrian Kurdish fighters.
Dr. Muharrem Eksi, vice head of international relations department at Kirklareli University, predicts that Turkey’s new minister of foreign affairs will be Ibrahim Kalin, the current presidential spokesperson, and that he will have the support of the MHP.
“Kalin was the person who made the most strategic foreign policy statements even under the foreign minister term of Mevlut Cavusoglu,” Eksi told Arab News. “He would probably bring out a new vision to Turkey’s foreign policy.”
According to Eksi, a former colleague of Kalin at pro-government think-tank SETA, Turkey needs to implement a soft balancing strategy, which aims to improve relations with the US, EU and Israel in a way that is not at the expense of its relationship with Russia.