Former Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar, whose son was briefly detained during the graft investigation, has withdrawn his resignation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), apologizing to the prime minister and his party Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Bayraktar withdrew his resignation from the AKP Feb. 3 after meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the weekend. He also apologized to "his leader" and "his friends in the party" over remarks he made on Dec. 25, 2013, the day he sensationally announced his resignation from the party during a live television broadcast.
"The prime minister is the leader of my path. In my statement on Dec. 25, 2013, this was emphasized once more. The word 'resign' was used by me in a way that went beyond my purpose. I apologize to my leader and my friends for this remark," said Bayraktar.
The prime minister, however, denied that he had to persuade Bayraktar to withdraw his resignation.
"I met with him, but there is no such thing as me having persuaded him. He is one of our brothers, who has a history of 25 years with us. It's not for me to correct his remarks, he has to regret it," Erdogan told reporters before flying to Germany for an official visit.
During a live broadcast on private station NTV on Dec. 25, Bayraktar had directly accused the prime minister of being involved in corruption. "I do not [accept it] because a big part of the zoning plans that are in the investigation file were confirmed and made with the approval of the prime minister," he said, adding that he had resigned from both Parliament and the Cabinet.
"For the sake of the well-being of this nation and country, I believe that the prime minister should also resign," Bayraktar said at the time.