The justice and Development Party (AK Party) decided on its new Central Executive Board (MYK) members on Sunday during the first Central Decision and Administrative Board (MKYK) meeting chaired by interim prime minister and party chairman, Ahmet Davutoğlu. Following critical changes made to the MKYK during the party’s fifth ordinary general congress in Ankara, Ömer Çelik, the new AK Party deputy chairman and spokesman, announced new members of the MYK. With the critical changes made to the party’s MYK and MKYK, the AK Party aims to enter the upcoming early elections with experienced politicians.
Speaking to the media following the first MKYK meeting, Çelik thanked former members and said the changes in positions means new responsibilities for the new members.
AK Party Gaziantep deputy Abdulhamit Gül was appointed as the party’s new secretary-general, replacing Ankara deputy Haluk İpek. Gül joined the AK Party following former People’s Voice Party (HAS Party) chairman and founder, Numan Kurtulmuş, who is currently a deputy prime minister, joined the AK Party. İzmir deputy Nükhet Hotar became the deputy chairwoman in charge of social politics. Another critical appointment was former Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu being assigned to the MYK. Çavuşoğlu was appointed as the deputy chairman in charge of foreign affairs. With his previous experience in foreign affairs due to his former positions as EU minister and chief negotiator and president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Çavuşoğlu is expected to further enhance the AK Party’s foreign affairs.
In addition, former Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ became the deputy chairman in charge of election work. Current Kayseri Mayor Mehmet Özhaseki was appointed as the deputy chairman responsible for local administration. Istanbul deputy Mustafa Ataş replaced Süleyman Soylu, being appointed deputy chairman in charge of party organizations. The deputy chairmanship in charge of human rights was given to Ayhan Sefer Üstün, who had become the president of the Human Rights Investigation Commission during 24th government. Former undersecretary of the Finance Ministry, Naci Ağbal, was announced as the deputy chairman responsible for the economy. In addition, Bitlis deputy Vedat Demiröz was appointed deputy chairman in charge of financial and administrative affairs, Selçuk Özdağ became deputy chairman responsible for civil society and public relations and Çiğdem Karaaslan was appointed deputy chairwoman responsible for the environment, city and culture. Fatma Betül Kaya, who has been a long-serving AK Party member, was appointed as deputy chairwoman in charge of research and development.
While the majority of MKYK and MYK members have been changed and appointed accordingly in efforts to achieve further success in the Nov. 1 elections, Mehmet Ali Şahin, who is a veteran AK Party politician, remained on the MYK as the deputy chairman in charge of political legal affairs