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Officials: Turkey’s economic team to retain posts in new cabinet

Senior officials had told Reuters before the election that key economic ministers would be retained at least until a national election next June if Erdogan won

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The key ministers responsible for Turkey’s economy are expected to remain in place in a new cabinet following Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s ascension to the presidency later this month, senior ruling party officials told Reuters.

Outgoing president Abdullah Gul said on Tuesday that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was likely to take over as chairman of the party and become the next prime minister, rekindling speculation about the shape of the new cabinet.

Investors have been particularly concerned about the fate of Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, who have guided the Turkish economy towards unprecedented stability in recent years.

“Of course the decision will be up to Erdogan and Davutoglu, but in the new cabinet which is expected to be formed at the beginning of September, no changes are expected with Babacan and Simsek or other economic portfolios,” one of the senior AK Party officials said.

Erdogan won the country’s first direct presidential election on Aug. 10 with more than 51 percent of the vote.

Senior officials had told Reuters before the election that key economic ministers would be retained at least until a national election next June if Erdogan won.

Erdogan will step down as leader of the AK Party when he is inaugurated on Aug. 28, as required by the constitution; but has made clear that he wants the party he co-founded with Gul more than a decade ago to remain loyal and unified.