Environment Minister Bayraktar announces resignation, calls on PM Erdoğan to quit
Erdoğan Bayraktar (R) greets ruling AKP supporters in Trabzon on Dec 22. DHA photo
Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar announced his resignation from Cabinet and Parliament today, further calling on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to resign to ease the turmoil over a continuing graft investigation that has gripped the country.
Bayraktar joins Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, who also announced their resignations earlier on Dec. 25.
Bayraktar said most of the amendments on construction plans mentioned in the investigation had been made with Erdoğan’s knowledge. He also added that he received pressure to submit his own resignation.
“With your permission, I want to make very short statements in the form of a press statement,” Bayraktar said during a live broadcast on the private channel NTV, while noting his innocence in the claims stemming from the Dec. 17 probe.
“It is of course a right and an authority for Mr. Prime Minister to work with whichever minister he wants and to remove whichever minister he wants from office. But I do not accept the pressure being put on me which says, ‘Resign because of an operation in which there are statements of bribery and corruption and release a declaration that will relieve me,’” Bayraktar said.
“I do not [accept that] because a big part of the zoning plans that are in the investigation file and were confirmed were made with approval from Mr. Prime Minister,” he said.
Declaring that he resigned from both Parliament and the Cabinet, he said, “For the sake of the well-being of this nation and country, I believe the prime minister should resign.”