UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Turkey's PM replaces resigned pro-Kurdish ministers

Iran Press TV

Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:16PM

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has appointed two new cabinet ministers to replace the pro-Kurdish members of the government who resigned over a debate on how Turkey should handle a growing Kurdish militancy.

Davutoglu's office announced late Tuesday, hours after EU Affairs Minister Ali Haydar Konca and Development Minister Muslum Dogan resigned, that two independent ministers will take the posts.

Beril Dedeoglu, a female professor at Istanbul's Galatasaray University, replaced Konca while Cuneyd Duzyol, the undersecretary of the Development Ministry, was appointed as development minister.

Media reports on Tuesday said that Konca and Dogan, two members of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), quit their posts after a debate on terrorism in the weekly cabinet session in the capital, Ankara.

The HDP has been engaged in a bitter dispute with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over the way the issue of Kurdish militants is being handled. Since late July, Turkish military has been pounding the positions of Kurdistan Workers' Party, or the PKK, in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq. The PKK has reacted with bloody attacks on police and security forces with hundreds reported to have died in the fresh wave of the insurgency.

After announcing the replacements, Davutoglu accused the two ministers of taking orders from the PKK leadership in northern Iraq. He also said that the two ministers had voiced disappointments over the government's nearly 10 day of siege on the Kurdish-dominated town of Cizre in southeast Turkey earlier this month.

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 of 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.

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.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list