Today.Az » World news » Three Turkish ministers quit their posts ahead of general elections
09 March 2011 [13:41] - Today.Az
The ministers of interior, justice and transportation formally resigned their posts Tuesday as part of a constitutional obligation designed to ensure a neutral election environment, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Interior Minister Besir Atalay was replaced by his undersecretary, Osman Gunes; Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin by his undersecretary, Ahmet Kahraman; and Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim by his undersecretary, Habip Soluk. The appointments were published in the Official Gazette late Tuesday.
The 114th article of the Constitution orders that these three key posts be transferred to neutral figures during electoral period so as to provide a fair election campaign atmosphere for all parties.
New Interior Minister Gunes hit the headlines in 2007 when he dismissed the former Mugla governor for serving him a meal of risotto along with a glass of white wine. New Justice Minister Kahraman is a close friend of Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin and was the lawyer of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Meanwhile, the deputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, Haluk Ipek, appealed to the Supreme Election Board, or YSK, to revise its earlier decision that scuttled preparations for Turks living abroad to vote in the countries in which they are residing.
Erdogan and the Foreign Ministry have strongly criticized the board for not approving voting for overseas Turks despite an apparent green light to do so from Germany, which is home to many Turkish citizens.