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Turkish PM Yildirim sticks with old guard in new cabinet

Turkish lira jumps by three percent in value as key Erdogan loyalists retain their positions in new prime minister's first cabinet
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shakes hands with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (L) at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Tuesday (AFP)

Turkey's incoming Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Tuesday unveiled his new cabinet line-up two days after being given a mandate by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a partial reshuffle that left most of the holders of key posts in place.

The main change saw Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Omer Celik replacing Volkan Bozkir as minister for EU affairs, a potentially crucial position at a time when Turkey and the EU are at odds over a migration deal agreed in March but still to be fully implemented.

But Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, Interior Minister Efkan Ala and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, who also oversees economic affairs, all remained in place.

Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and Finance Minister Naci Agbal both also retained their positions, as did Erdogan's son-in-law, the Energy Minister Berat Albayrak. 

The value of the Turkish lira increased by almost three percent following Yildirim's announcement, which was shortly followed by an announcement by Turkey's Central Bank cutting the interest rate from 10 percent to 9.5 percent.

Yildirim has pledged that will Turkey will remain business-friendly and said in his first speech to the AKP parliamentary group on Tuesday that the country "would roll out the turquoise carpet to investors". 

Yildirim's appointment as party chairman and prime minister at the weekend has consolidated Erdogan's dominating influence over Turkish politics, with Yildirim, who is considered to be unfailingly loyal to the president, already having stated that he favours moves towards a presidential system of government.

Speaking on Tuesday, Yildirim again pledged loyalty to Erdogan and said that he would "kickstart constitutional work as soon as possible".

His promotion to the premiership followed the resignation of Ahmet Davutoglu earlier this month amid differences with Erdogan.