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Erdogan Ally Appointed Turkey's New Prime Minister

Binali Yildirim is the sole candidate at a May 22 party congress in Ankara.

Turkey's ruling party has appointed a key ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as its chairman, and therefore as the country's new prime minister.

Binali Yildirim, the transport and communications minister and a founding member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), was the sole candidate at a May 22 party congress in Ankara.

Yildirim, 60, replaced Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is stepping down amid differences with Erdogan.

Addressing the AKP congress, Yildirim said his government's top priority would be a constitutional changes to increase the power of the largely ceremonial presidency. The issue is said to have been behind Davutoglu's resignation two weeks ago.

He also said the change in government leadership would not alter the struggle against terrorist groups, and vowed to continue the fight against Islamic State and Kurdish militants at home and in Syria.

Erdogan is expected to give Yildirim the mandate to form a new government later in the day.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and dpa