Former interior minister cleared in graft probe ‘will not be a candidate’ in upcoming elections
Former Interior Minister Muammer Guüler casts his vote during a debate at the Turkish parliament in Ankara January 20, 2015. REUTERS PhotoMuammer Güler, one of the four former ministers who resigned after Turkey’s huge corruption probe broke on Dec. 17, 2013, has announced in a written statement that he will not run for parliament in the June 7 general elections.
Former Interior Minister Güler said “plot operations under the cover of corruption” had tried to “redesign politics in Turkey against the national will,” amounting to a coup attempt against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Saying he had resigned as minister on his own will, Güler added that the “truth” about those who conducted the plot would be revealed.
“I will not be a candidate in the upcoming general elections, but will continue to pursue my political work outside of parliament with the same beliefs,” read a part of his written statement.
The four ministers involved in the corruption allegations were cleared by a court ruling after the reassignment of judicial officials, while a Jan. 20 parliamentary vote after a commission study finally quashed all investigations. However, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to keep its well-known unity during the voting, with dozens of its deputies voting to send the former ministers to the Supreme Court. Former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan was absent at parliament during the vote, as he was attending the funeral of his stepmother.
Çağlayan, who resigned together with Güler due to the allegations, also announced on Feb. 6 that he would not run for parliament in the June 7 general elections.
Former EU Minister Egemen Bağış cannot run for parliament due to the internal AKP rule barring politicians from being an MP for more than three consecutive terms.
It is still not yet known whether former Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, the last of the four former ministers embroiled in the corruption allegations, will run for parliament.