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Iran Press TV

Kurdish ministers resign from Turkey's interim government

Iran Press TV

Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:26PM

Two pro-Kurdish ministers have resigned from Turkey's interim government, signaling new escalation in tensions between the Kurdish opposition and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Turkish media reported Tuesday that the two members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), namely EU Affairs Minister Ali Haydar Konca and Development Minister Muslum Dogan, quit their posts after a debate on terrorism in the weekly cabinet session in the capital, Ankara.

The private channel NTV quoted a statement from the office of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying that he has accepted the resignations and will immediately appoint replacements.

Konca and Dogan, both known for their open criticism of the AKP, were the first pro-Kurdish politicians ever to take seats in the Turkish government after their party managed to win 13 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections in June.

The caretaker government was formed following a call for snap elections by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the AKP failed to gain a majority in the votes for the first time since 2002. The HDP members entered the cabinet after major opposition parties in Turkey refused to take part in the interim government.

Major security operation involving the PKK

The HDP has been engaged in a bitter dispute with the AKP over the way the issue of Kurdish militants is being handled.

Turkey has been engaged in one of its biggest security operations in the southern border region in the recent past. The Turkish military has been conducting offensives against alleged positions of the Takfiri Daesh terrorists in northern Syria as well as those of the PKK in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey.

The security operations began in the wake of the deadly July 20 bombing in the southern Turkish town of Suruc, an ethnically Kurdish town located close to the Kurdish town of Kobani on the other side of the border in Syria, where over 30 people died. The Turkish government blamed Daesh for the bombing. On July 22, the PKK claimed responsibility for the killing of two Turkish police officers, saying they were cooperating with Daesh.

Erdogan and his colleagues in the AKP say the HDP has become a political front for the PKK, while HDP leaders say the crackdown on militants is taking a heavy toll on Kurdish civilians in southeastern Turkey.

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