Binali Yildirim

New Turkish PM unveils cabinet line-up

Turkey’s incoming Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has unveiled his new cabinet line-up, which has received the endorsement of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Unveiling the cabinet, he said on Tuesday that the country’s current constitution was far from meeting its needs and that work would begin immediately on a new text.

President Tayyip Erdogan wants Turkey to introduce a full presidential system, something Yildirim has vowed to support.

Yildirim said Erdogan was carrying out his political responsibilities as head of state, rejecting suggestions that he was meddling in government affairs.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Interior Minister Efkan Ala, all from the administration of former PM Ahmed Davutoglu, were reinstated in their positions.

AK Party spokesman Omer Celik replaced Volkan Bozkir as Turkey’s minister of European Union affairs.

This photo, provided by Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency, shows the cabinet line-up of incoming Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Erdogan turned to Yildirim, a trusted ally, last Sunday after Davutoglu resigned as prime minister amid differences with the president on a wide range of issues, notably the overhaul of the constitution to increase the powers of the presidency.

Many fear the presidential system that Erdogan seeks will concentrate too many powers in the hands of the Turkish strongman.

Erdogan has adopted an increasing authoritarian style of governing and has cracked down on media and government critics.

The reshuffle comes at a time when parliament is in disarray after a government-backed constitutional amendment has left 138 lawmakers vulnerable to prosecution.

Critics say the decision would target Kurds and dissidents as Turkey faces serious security threats including increased attacks by PKK militants.

Clashes in southeast Turkey

On Monday, Turkish police clashed with the supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party during a rally in the southeastern city of Mardin.

Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd, who were trying to block roads in front of the city hall.

Protesters run away as Turkish police use tear gas to disperse them on February 5, 2016 during a demonstration against curfews in Nusaybin district in Mardin Province. (© AFP)

There were conflicting reports of casualties. Local media also reported that more than 100 protesters were arrested during the clashes.

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the Kurdish militants in its southern border region in the past few months.

The Turkish military has also been conducting offensives against the positions of the group in northern Iraq and Syria.

By Press TV