ANKARA, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a major cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday after resignation of his three ministers who face allegations of bribery and tender rigging.
Among new ten ministers, some of the replacements were due to recent developments regarding graft probe, some others are candidates for upcoming local elections, Erdogan said in a press statement on Wednesday after he submitted President Abdullah Gul the list of cabinet members for an approval.
The cabinet reshuffle came after Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, Interior Minister Muammer Guler and Environment and Urbanization Minister Erdogan Bayraktar, whose sons face bribery and corruption allegations, announced their resignation earlier on Wednesday.
Nihat Zeybekci becomes the new economy minister, Efkan Ala was appointed as new interior minister and Idris Gulce becomes the new Minister of Environment and Urbanization, said Erdogan.
He added that Emrullah Isler replaces deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, Bozdag becomes new justice minister, Fikri Isik new science, industry and technology minister, Akif Cagatay Kilic new youth and sports minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu new EU affairs minister, Lutfu Elvan new transportation minister, Aysenur Islam new family and social policies minister.
Nearly 50 people, including some prominent businessmen close to Erdogan and sons of the three ministers, were detained last week as part of the probe into tender fraud and bribery allegations.
Twenty-four of them, including the sons of Guler and Caglayan, have been charged. The investigation exposed a bitter feud between Erdogan's government and an influential U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fetullah Gulen, who wields clout in police and judiciary, according to local media.
ISTANBUL, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Turks started protesters in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and seven other cities, calling on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to step down following the resignation of three ministers on Wednesday.
In Istanbul, more than 5,000 people are staging anti-government protests in Kadikoy district of the Asian side of the city while more than 1,000 are gathering in Besiktas where the prime minister office is located in the European side. Full story