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Turkish PM replaces resigned Kurdish ministers

25 september 2015, 19:47
0
Turkish Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Ahmet Davutoglu. ©AFP
Turkish Prime Minister and Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Ahmet Davutoglu. ©AFP

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu appointed two new cabinet ministers to replace two Kurdish lawmakers who resigned from the interim government amid a flare-up of violence between Kurdish rebels and the army, AFP reports.

EU Affairs Minister Ali Haydar Konca and Development Minister Muslum Dogan resigned on Tuesday after accusing Turkey's government of promoting a "logic of war", two months after a 2013 ceasefire with Kurdish rebels fell apart. 

Davutoglu late Tuesday swiftly appointed two new ministers described as independents. 

Cuneyd Duzyol, under-secretary at the development ministry, replaces Dogan, while Beril Dedeoglu, a female professor at Istanbul's Galatasaray University, was appointed EU minister. 

Konca and Dogan had joined the month-old caretaker government ahead of snap polls due on November 1 -- the first time in Turkish history that representatives of a pro-Kurdish party had taken seats in the government.

The resignations come amid turbulence in Turkey as the military is waging an offensive against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has responded with bloody attacks on the security forces.

"A logic of war has been put into place," Konca, who is a member of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP), told a press conference, describing the climate in the country as worse than under martial law in the 1990s.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late Tuesday denounced the resignation of the ministers as a move "to smear the presidency." 

"They are not obliged to stay (in the government). But their accusations are very, very ugly," he said in an interview with Kanal 7 television. 

The HDP won more than 13 percent of the vote in the June 7 election, a strong performance that effectively prevented the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) from winning a governing majority for the first time in 13 years. 

The government accuses the HDP of being a political front for the PKK while the party for its part accuses Erdogan of fomenting the latest escalation in a three-decade conflict with the Kurdish rebels to boost the AKP's standing among nationalists. 


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