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    Turkey’s PM signals cabinet reshuffle, EU negotiator flagged

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    03.10.2008 - 12:29 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan signaled a cabinet reshuffle and change to the party’s administration, which is expected to include ministerial positions deemed secure, such as the finance minister and Turkey’s chief negotiator for EU talks, Vatan daily reported on Friday citing sources.

    Erdogan signaled a cabinet reshuffle of at least 4-5 ministers, including Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan and Health Minister Recep Akdag, who have held their seats since 2002, Vatan said.

     

    Aside from a change to a number of ministerial seats, the government is considering a plan to separate ministries combined during their term, including Culture and Tourism, and Environment and Forestry.A separation of the Labor and Social Security Ministry is also being considered.

     

    EU CHIEF NEGOTIATOR TO CHANGE

    The post of Turkey’s chief negotiator for EU talks, currently held by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, is also expected to change as part of the shake up of the ruling government.

     

    Justice and Development Party deputy chairman, Egemen Bagis has been named as a possible replacement for Babacan in the top negotiator post, private NTV channel reported on Thursday.

     

    Erdogan had ealier said the government’s attention in the new legislative year would be focused towards Turkey’s European Union accession.

     

    Erdogan said the necessary statements would be delivered if such a step was taken, when asked by reporters about the issue prior to his visit to Turkmenistan on Friday.

     

    "Currently, we are carrying on with our studies regarding Turkey's EU process in a determined way together with our ministers, technocrats and bureaucrats," he said.

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