Opposition questions ministry overhaul

Opposition questions ministry overhaul

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Opposition questions ministry overhaul

Faruk Loğoğlu, deputy chairman of the CHP, questions a number of amendments done for Foreign Ministry. AA photo

A senior opposition lawmaker has formally asked Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to explain a series of changes to rules governing the Foreign Ministry, suggesting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is seeking to propel its cronies to senior posts at the ministry.

Faruk Loğoğlu, deputy chairman of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and former Foreign Ministry undersecretary, stressed that a number of amendments to the Foreign Ministry Organizational Law were silently put into force as part of a legislative decree dealing mostly with the Family and Social Policies Ministry, which the government issued last November.

“The vague and flexible nature of the amendments has paved the way for the government to interfere with the ministry in line with its political convictions,” Loğoğlu said in a parliamentary question to Davutoğlu. He questioned the purpose of provisions that opened the door for engineering graduates to join the Foreign Ministry and raised the eligibility age for candidates allowed to sit at the ministry’s entrance exam. Referring to amendments that also changed rules guiding promotion, Loğoğlu asked whether the government aimed “to shorten the time required to reach senior posts” and whether “this could lead to unfair promotions.” The CHP lawmaker highlighted “widespread rumors” that individuals with inadequate foreign language skills were among employees the ministry had admitted since 2009 and asked Davutoğlu how many newcomers had been sent to language courses. He demanded an explanation also on why the CVs of personnel were removed from the ministry’s intranet and drew attention to the fact that fewer women were admitted to the ministry under the AKP.

Foreign Ministry, Ahmet Davutoğlu, CHP, Faruk Loğoğlu