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Turkish president approves pro-EU, reform cabinet | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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ANKARA, (Reuters) – New Turkish President Abdullah Gul approved a pro-EU reformist cabinet on Wednesday which reflected Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s aim to push ahead with stalled political and economic reforms needed to join the bloc.

Gul, who as foreign minister helped Turkey win EU accession talks status in 2005, is the first politician with a background in political Islam to become president in mainly Muslim but constitutionally secular Turkey, over the army’s opposition.

After meeting Gul at the presidential palace, Erdogan named Ali Babacan as Gul’s successor as foreign minister. Babacan will remain in his role as chief negotiator in the membership talks.

Kemal Unakitan remains in the post of finance minister, while former banker Nazim Ekren was named minister in charge of coordinating economic issues, an important position as the government pushes for further economic reforms. “I prepared the new cabinet as a team who have the skills to realise our goals for the coming period … I believe we formed a strong team,” Erdogan told reporters. The lira