Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday a major reshuffle in his cabinet, appointing new ministers for foreign affairs, treasury and finance, defence and vice president.
Hakan Fidan, who has been at the helm of the National Intelligence Organization since 2010, assumes the role of foreign minister. The 55-year-old new top diplomat is considered one of Erdogan’s closest confidants.
The new treasury and finance minister is Mehmet Simsek, who served as finance minister and deputy prime minister from 2009 to 2018. Simsek is a respected economist who is seen as a safe pair of hands in the turbulent Turkish economy.
Yasar Guler, who previously served as the chief of general staff and is seen as a hardliner on national security issues, takes on the role of defence minister.
The new vice president is Cevdet Yilmaz, who previously served as deputy prime minister and development minister.
Erdogan was sworn in for a third term as president on Saturday. In his inaugural speech, he pledged to introduce a more liberal constitution and to unite the Turkish people.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by several foreign leaders, including NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Erdogan won 52.18% of votes in the presidential runoff on May 28 against his rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the centre-left Republican People’s Party.
Erdogan who has been leading the country since he became prime minister in 2003, became the first executive president of Türkiye in 2018 following a constitutional referendum in 2017 which changed Türkiye’s parliamentary system into a presidential one.