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    Turkish cabinet reshuffle expected on Thursday-source

    26.04.2009 - 14:29 | Son Güncelleme:

    ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is expected to announce a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, a government source said, in a move analysts say may help the EU candidate tackle the economic recession more aggressively.

    The appointments were not expected to bring major policy changes in Turkey, which is under pressure to sign a deal with the IMF to weather the global economic crisis and speed up reforms to shore up its troubled European Union accession bid.
    But the replacements would reinvigorate Erdogan's Islamist rooted Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government, which was punished with a reduced share of the vote in local elections last month amid record unemployment and a perception it has become out of touch.
    Erdogan was expected to present his new list to President Abdullah Erdogan during their weekly meeting on Thursday, the source said on Sunday.
    Turkish media have speculated Economy Minister Mehmet Simsek may lose his post, after the government came under fire from business groups for failing to reach an agreement with the IMF after several months of talks.
    Foreign Minster Ali Babacan, who as economy minister between 2002-2007 led Turkey's successful recovery from a deep crisis in 2001, has been tipped as Simsek's replacement.
    "Babacan has good knowledge of dealing with the IMF, so this might signal that Erdogan wants a trusted point man to coordinate the looming IMF standby agreement," Tim Ash from Royal Bank of Scotland said in a research note on Friday.
    Newspapers have speculated that Ahmet Davutoglu, Erdogan's chief foreign policy advisor, may be next foreign minister.

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