Turkish former minister of culture quits ruling party

Photo: Turkish former minister of culture quits ruling party  / Politics

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.27

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

MP from the ruling party, former Minister of Culture Ertugrul Gunay has resigned, Turkish Milliyet newspaper reported on Dec.27.

It is expected that another two MPs from the ruling party - Erdal Kalkan from Izmir and Haluk Ozdalga from Ankara - will resign today, according to the newspaper.

It was earlier reported that Turkish ruling party has announced it is taking disciplinary action against three of its MPs - including a former minister - for remarks against the party's policy.

A statement issued from the party says it is referring to Izmir MP and former Minister of Culture Ertugrul Gunay, Izmir MP Erdal Kalkan, and Ankara MP Haluk Ozdalga. A request for their dismissal from the party will be sent to the disciplinary committee.

Turkish police conducted special operations in Istanbul and Ankara on Dec.17, resulting in the arrest of 52 people that includes businessmen and sons of some ministers.

The businessmen are accused of corruption, smuggling and selling drugs.

Among those detained were the sons of some ministers, who are the members of Turkey's ruling party - Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan's son, Salih Kaan Caglayan, Interior Minister Muammar Guler's son, Baris Guler and Minister for Urban Development and Environment Erdogan Bayraktar's son, Oguz Bayraktar. All three were detained on suspicion of corruption.

Mayor of Istanbul's Fatih Municipality, Mustafa Demir, Director General of Turkish Halkbank Suleyman Aslan and well known entrepreneur Ali Agaoglu were arrested during the same operation by police. Searches were conducted at Halkbank's office.

Mustafa Demir and Ali Agaoglu were released on Dec.21.

After a meeting with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the new cabinet of ministers.

MP from Ankara Emrullah İsler was appointed Deputy Prime Minister instead of Bekir Bozdag. In turn, the latter was appointed Minister of Justice.

MP from the ruling party Lutfi Elvan was appointed Minister of Transport, Shipping and Communications.

Ayshenur Islam was appointed Minister for Family and Social Policy. Mevlut Cavusoglu will head the Ministry for EU Affairs.

Fikri Isik Bilim was appointed Minister for Science, Industry and Technology, while Gulluce Idris became Environmental and Urban Development Minister.

Akif Cagatay Kılıc was appointed Youth and Sports Ministry, Nihat Zeybekci - Economy Minister and Efkan Ala became Interior Minister.

Translated by L.Z.

Edited by C.N.

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