Koca's unexpected speech after his resign

03 Temmuz 2024 Çarşamba

This comment came from a source within the ruling party when I asked why the health minister was changed. But first, let me recap...

Months before the 2023 elections, I wrote in this column:

"Fahrettin Koca is tired of politics. Recently, he had a secret meeting with President Erdoğan, where he expressed his desire not to be on the 2023 candidate lists."

Koca's request for "leave" was partially granted. He was not made a parliamentary candidate but remained as Health Minister.

So, what led to Kemal Memişoğlu taking over the Health Ministry now?

There are two prevailing views within the ruling party.

One source cites the following reasons for Koca's departure:

  • Recently, there were significant delays in hospital appointments. Instead of addressing this issue, Minister Koca was constantly on the defensive, resisting the expected self-criticism.

  • Disagreements had increased. For instance, he did not object when the issue of stray dogs was discussed in the cabinet, but later made a contradictory statement.

  • He adhered to meritocracy in appointments rather than political references, which strained his relations with MPs seeking favors.


Another source urged me to pay attention to Koca's handover speech. The insider, well-versed in the inner workings of the ruling party, said: "The new minister, Memişoğlu, did not expect such a speech. Koca assigned him tasks to complete, emphasizing that the Health Ministry is not just about appointments, and set benchmarks for future comparisons."

After hearing this, I revisited Koca's handover speech.

Indeed, Koca stated, "I am handing over a trust that has increased in value through efforts and belongs to the nation," and then listed the projects to be completed:

"I am handing over the New Hıfzıssıhha Project, which will completely eliminate our country's dependency on foreign vaccines, at its current stage to you. You are responsible for continuing the rabies vaccine processes. We have worked hard on the Health Valley Project, and the decree has been signed by our president. It is now time to implement the project. This is one of the most important points mentioned at this handover ceremony. The cell and gene therapy project planned in Sancaktepe is a significant expectation of our nation. I believe you will take on this delicate responsibility with all your strength. The production of continuous glucose monitoring sensors is in its final stage. As known, we had started family dentistry as a pilot project. I am handing over these projects to you with peace of mind."

In summary, that's the gist. In conclusion, I am very curious:

Fahrettin Koca had also taken on the task of curbing the influence of the Menzil community, which had significantly infiltrated the Health Ministry during former Minister Recep Akdağ's tenure. After all, Koca himself belonged to the İskenderpaşa community.

So, what will happen now? Will the Menzil community, currently preoccupied with internal conflicts, regain its former strength in the Health Ministry in this new era? It's rumored in ruling circles that the new Health Minister Kemal Memişoğlu is close to the İlim Yayma Cemiyeti. We'll see how Memişoğlu handles appointments, a critical issue that contributed to Koca's departure.

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