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Turkey PM tweaks cabinet, keeps economic teams largely in place

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced a limited cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, keeping the government’s economic management team largely in place and replacing most of the deputy premiers.

Speaking to reporters after meeting President Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential palace, Yildirim said that 15 ministers remained in their posts with five new ministers joining the cabinet and six of its members reshuffled.

Mehmet Simsek, a figure widely respected by investors, remained a deputy prime minister, Naci Agbal stayed on as finance minister, while the economy, customs and development ministers also kept their posts.

“Simsek remaining as the one and only deputy PM in charge of the economy is positive, since it hints that sound policies and structural reforms might continue to be on the agenda,” said Ozgur Altug of BGC Partners in a note to clients.

The lira briefly eased slightly to 3.5322 against the dollar after the announcement but soon recovered to its previous level around 3.5259.

Mevlut Cavusoglu kept his job as foreign minister and Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, remained as energy minister. Numan Kurtulmus, who had been a deputy prime minister and government spokesman, was appointed tourism minister.

A reshuffle had been widely expected since May, when Erdogan resumed his leadership of the ruling AK Party following an April 16 constitutional referendum giving him sweeping new powers. The changes had been anticipated in part with an eye on presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for 2019.

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