ANKARA: Erdogan Pushes For Center, Purges National View Camp

Reha Camuroðlu – Ertuðrul Gunay – Zafer Uskul
Ercan Yavuz Ankara

Today’s Zaman, Turkey
June 6 2007

PM Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, who set the new lineup for the Justice and
Develop-ment Party (AK Party) from prominent center-right politicians
and social democrats, has not re-nominated 163 AK Party deputies.

Notably, many of the deputies who are not nominated from the party
lists are former National View (Milli Goruþ) supporters. His wife Emine
Erdoðan has been influential in the candidate selection process as
deputies who have problems with their spouses have not been included
the party lists. Ertuðrul Gunay, a prominent social democrat, has
been given the second position in Ýstanbul.

Erdoðan had prepared the AK Party’s deputy candidate lists for the
2002 elections in collaboration with Abdulkadir Aksu, Abdullatif
Þener, Bulent Arýnc, and Abdullah Gul. He has completely changed the
composition of the lists, acting more independent. While deputies
close to Gul managed to remain on the lists, Arýnc’s and Þener’s
colleagues have been almost completely purged.

Ministers not nominated

In addition to Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Þener, who announced
that he would not run for Parliament, Industry Minister Ali Coþkun
has not been nominated. In addition, Sivas Deputy Omer Kulaksýz,
who is at odds with Þener, has not been included on the party list.

Great purge of the ‘National View’

Erdoðan have vetoed most of the deputies who come from the National
View, the ideology of ousted Welfare Party leader Necmettin Erbakan.

Among those not re-nominated include Ýsmail Alptekin, founding chairman
of the Virtue Party (FP) and deputy parliamentary speaker; Mehmet
Elkatmýþ, the chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission;
Eyup Sanay; Tevhid Karakaya; Omer Ozyýlmaz; Nurettin Aktaþ; Azmi
Ateþ; Mustafa Baþ; Huseyin Kansu; Remzi Cetin; Mustafa Unaldý; Halil
Urun; Mehmet Ali Bulut; Ali Sezal, Sebahattin Yýldýz; Musa Uzunkaya;
Ersonmez Yarbay; Ergun Daðcýoðlu and Mali Ejder Arvas.

Husrev Kutlu, who is known for his statements against the General
Staff, has been given the first position in Adana.

Time to pay for March 1 motion

The AK Party has not nominated deputies who strongly opposed the March
1 motion — which called for the US using Turkey as a staging point
for its Iraq invasion — including Bursa Deputy Ertuðrul Yalcýnbayýr,
Adana Deputy Abdullah Calýþkan, Ankara Deputy Ersonmez Yarbay, Ahmet
Faruk Unsal and Ramazan Toprak. This is considered as revenge for the
motion. In a surprise move, Erdoðan has not given a go to Parliamentary
Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman Mehmet Dulger.

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Þahin, who was elected from
Ýstanbul in the previous elections, has been transferred to
Antalya. Finance Minister Kemal Unakýtan, and former Transportation
Minister Binali Yýldýrým have been nominated from Eskiþehir and
Erzincan, respectively. Employment Minister Murat Baþesgioðlu has
been transferred from Kastamonu to Ýstanbul, State Minister Kurþad
Tuzmen from Gaziantep to Mersin and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul from
Kocaeli to Ýzmir.

Erdoðan has not approved the candidacy of journalist Nazlý Ilýcak.

Serdar Arseven, Ankara representative of Vakit daily, and Sadullah
Ozcan, Deputy Ankara representative of Cihan news agency have also
not been nominated by Erdoðan. He has given Fuat Bol, the editor in
Chief of Turkiye daily, who was a classmate of Erdoðan at an Imam
Hatip high school, the 10th position in Ýstanbul while Mehmet Ocaktan,
Ankara representative of Yeni Þafak daily, has been given the 10th
position in Bursa.

Announcer Ýkbal Gurpýnar, Yýldýrým Akbulut’s son-in-law Tanju
Yazgan Arýkan, United Fenerbahce Fan Club Chairman Aziz Yýlmaz,
Armenian-origin Verkin Arýoba, Ozhan Eren and the party’s surveyor
Hasan Basri Yýldýz have not been nominated.

Erdoðan, who was elected deputy from Siirt, the hometown of his
wife, in the by-elections, will run for Parliament from the first
position in the first constituency zone in Ýstanbul. The Cabinet has
been nominated as follows: Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul (Kayseri),
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Þahin (Antalya), Turkey’s chief EU
negotiator Ali Babacan (Ankara), State Minister Beþir Atalay (Ankara),
State Minister Mehmet Aydýn (Ýzmir), State Minister Nimet Cubukcu
(Ýstanbul), State Minister Kurþad Tuzmen (Mersin), Defense Minister
Vecdi Gonul (Ýzmir), Finance Minister Kemal Unakýtan (Eskiþehir),
Health Minister Recep Akdað (Erzurum), Employment and Social Security
Minister Murat Baþesgioðlu (Ýstanbul), Public Works and Settlement
Minister Faruk Nafiz Ozak (Trabzon), Energy and Natural Resources
Minister Hilmi Guler (Ordu), Education Minister Huseyin Celik (Van),
Environment and Forestry Minister Osman Pepe (Kocaeli), Culture and
Tourism Minister Atilla Koc (Aydýn), Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Mehdi Eker (Diyarbakýr), former Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu
(Ýstanbul), former Transpor-tation Minister Binali Yýldýrým (Erzincan)
and former Justice Minister Cemil Cicek (Ankara).

New members are given top positions

Newcomers who have been given top spots in the party are Ertuðrul
Gunay, Zafer Caðlayan, Mehmet Þimþek, Mehmet Saðlam, Professor Zafer
Uskul, Nursuna Memecan, Haluk Ozdalga, Reha Camuroðlu, Zeynep Daðý,
Mehmet Saðlam, Ahmet Ýyimaya, Fazilet Daðcý Cýðlýk, Ozlem Turkone,
Osman Yaðmurdereli, Erdal Kalkan, Hamza Yerlikaya, Ulku Gokalp Guney,
Mehmet Domac and Suleyman Bolunmez. Erdoðan has also assigned civil
servants who resigned from their offices upon his request such as
Omer Dincer, Necdet Unuvar, Necat Birinci and Mustafa Cetin, to
secure positions in the party lists. Erdoðan has paid heed to the
voice of the party’s local organizations, giving some heads of local
organizations top positions in the lists.

AK Party’s Alevi move

In addition to opening its doors to center right and social
democratic politicians, the AK Party is trying to appeal to Alevi
citizens. Professor Reha Camuroðlu, an Alevi intellectual, has been
nominated from Ýstanbul while another Alevi, Haydar Doðan, has been
nominated from Tunceli, where the AK Party had previously failed to
secure a seat in Parliament.

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