Turkey gets interim cabinet ahead of snap elections

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Istanbul (dpa) – Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Friday announced an interim government meant to carry Turkey over until snap elections on November 1, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The 26-member cabinet is largely dominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), but will also include two ministers of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and one from the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The opposition members were given relatively less important ministries, though the HDP did get the EU portfolio.

Under Turkish law, such an interim government is meant to include all parties on a proportional basis, but the main secular Republican People’s Party (CHP) opted out and most of the MHP decided not to participate.

In a twist, the new foreign minister will be Feridun Sinirlioglu, a career diplomat. Mehmet Simsek carries on as finance minister.

The cabinet was announced after Davutoglu, the leader of the AKP, met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The snap return to the ballot box follows elections in June, in which the AKP failed to gain enough seats to govern alone for the first time since 2002. Coalition talks then failed and Erdogan called for fresh elections.

Recent public opinion polls have indicated there may be no significant change in voting patterns in the next election and the AKP may again fail to obtain enough seats to govern alone.

The AKP is meant to hold a party conference on September 12.

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