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Erdogan replaces Turkey trade minister, forms 2 new ministries

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the Observer Day activity of Blue Homeland-2021 Exercise, via video conference call at the Vahdettin Pavilion in Istanbul, Turkey on March 06, 2021 [Mustafa Kamac─▒ / Anadolu Agency]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Turkey on 6 March 2021 [Mustafa Kamac─▒/Anadolu Agency]

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed a prominent member of Turkey's ruling AK Party, Mehmet Mus, as trade minister today and split the Family, Labour and Social Policies Ministry into two ministries, Reuters reported.

In a presidential decree, Ruhsar Pekcan was replaced as trade minister by Mus, who has been a lawmaker for Erdogan's AK Party since 2011 and served as the party's deputy chairman in charge of the economy.

The decree, published in the Official Gazette, gave no reason for the change, but it comes after opposition politicians accused Pekcan's ministry of buying supplies from her family-owned company and called on her to resign.

The Trade Ministry confirmed that the purchase of sanitisers had been made, but said in a statement yesterday the choice was based on price alone and not due to "the name of the company making the sale".

It said that the sale, worth some 500,000 lira ($62,000), had been carried out in line with relevant regulations.

READ: Currency crisis in Turkey, after bank governor sacked

Erdogan's overnight changes come amid speculation over a wider cabinet reshuffle, after he changed the country's top economic management in November, including the central bank governor.

The president established two new ministries by splitting the Family, Labour and Social Policies Ministry into two separate ministries, according to the decree.

He appointed Derya Yanik as Family and Social Policies Minister and Vedat Bilgin as the Labour and Social Security Minister, replacing Zehra Zumrut Selcuk.

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