Minister who urged Turkish PM to step down highlights devotion to ‘the struggle’
Erdoğan Bayraktar has handed over his post to AKP Istanbul deputy İdris Güllüce. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SönmezEnvironment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, whose son has been involved in a massive graft probe and who broke ranks by urging the prime minister to resign as well, following his and two other ministers’ resignation, notably underlined his loyalty to what he called a “struggle,” as he handed over his portfolio.
“I am extremely happy and joyful. As it has been the case so far, also from now on, I will move on with consciousness of the responsibility on my part for the prevalence of this struggle and sacred walk without sustaining any injury,” Bayraktar said at a handover ceremony where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul deputy İdris Güllüce took over his post.
As of Dec. 25, Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, each of whom has a son among the 24 people still in police custody on graft charges, had already released separate written statements for announcing their resignations before noon.
In the afternoon, it was Bayraktar who took the initiative in joining a live broadcast on the private NTV television via telephone in order to announce his resignation.
“With your permission, I want to make very short statements in the form of a press statement,” Bayraktar said, noting there was nothing he would be offended of and nothing that he would not be able to make an explanation in the case that erupted on Dec. 17.
Bayraktar’s son was briefly detained as part of the probe. Likewise, Bayraktar, Güler and Çağlayan denied any wrongdoing of their sons or the government.
Despite such a public declaration of resignation, in the motion regarding the reshuffle which was published on the Official Gazette on Dec. 26, Bayraktar’s name was cited as having been removed from the office.
“Additionally, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, has been removed from the ministry post upon the prime minister’s proposal,” said a document of approval of the reshuffle signed by President Abdullah Gül and published in the Official Gazette as part of the related motion.
The move for Bayraktar’s removal, despite the fact he had already resigned, has been considered a sign of Erdoğan’s curiosity regarding his call for him to step down.