The announcement followed a visit by Erdogan after the weekly cabinet meeting to the presidential palace for an unscheduled, two-hour meeting with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.
The length of the talks led to speculation that the two may have discussed a wider ranging, long awaited cabinet reshuffle, but Erdogan was laconic when he spoke to reporters afterwards.
"There was an opening at the ministry of culture and tourism and a nomination was made," he said, refusing tyo be drawn any further.
Koc, an AKP deputy from the westen province of Aydin, has had a long career in the civil service as a governor, sub-governor and provincial police chief; he also served as general secretary for the Ankara municipality and undersecretary at the prime ministry.
He replaced the charismatic, 42-year-old Mumcu, who resigned on February 15 from both the government and the AKP.
Mumcus resignation came a day after he reportedly spoke out at a government meeting against plans to pardon thousands of students expelled from universities, including those kicked out for wearing Islamic headscarves.