Interior minister says he will ‘continue’ post after Erdoğan rejects resignation
“I am humbled by the approach of our nation and Mr. President, after my decision on the responsibility for the curfew,” Soylu said in a Twitter post.
“In the steps taken in the custody of the state and the nation, the fact that our deficiency was accepted as a humane condition by the [nation and the president] and the right given to us repair this, increased our responsibility,” Soylu added.
“Let’s keep going on the path to serve our nation,” he said.
Soylu said on the evening of April 12 that he is resigning from his position as interior minister over the implementation and timing of the curfew.
“In a process carried out diligently and meticulously, the responsibility for all implementation of the weekend curfew to stem the pandemic falls on me in every respect,” he had said in a tweet.
Soylu, who has held the post since August 2016, said the scenes that took place, following the announcement of the curfew on April 10, did not reflect a smooth implementation of the policy.
“I should not have caused such scenes in this incident, whose responsibility belongs to us,” Soylu said.
“I am stepping down from my post as interior minister, which I have carried out with honor,” he added.
Ankara late on April 10 announced a two-day curfew in 31 provinces that took effect at midnight.
The announcement came about 10.00 p.m. local time and said it would affect 30 metropolises, including the capital Ankara, Istanbul, the Aegean province of İzmir and Zonguldak, where respiratory diseases are common among the residents.
The curfew’s announcement received many criticisms as people in the said provinces flocked to markets and bakeries who were still open for last-minute shopping.
Earlier, in an interview with daily Hürriyet, Soylu had accepted the criticisms over the timing of the announcement of the curfew.
Soylu had said, “I received the criticisms and I accepted them.”
“In the two-hour period, there was congestion in some places. I could not foresee this. I have experience but I still do not think that the limited congestion at that hour would cause a big problem,” he said.
Nevertheless, Soylu’s resignation was rejected by Erdoğan, the Communications Directorate said on late April 12, while praising him for his hard work in many incidents from natural disasters to counter-terrorism efforts.
Soylu “submitted his resignation to the president, and our president told him that he did not find the request suitable,” the directorate said in a statement.
“The resignation of our interior minister has not been accepted. He will continue his duties,” it said.
“Soylu has been very stern in the fight against terrorism, and his decisive steps have played a significant role in reducing the ability of terrorist organizations to carry out attacks,” the statement added. It also said that Soylu also strongly coordinated efforts conducted after natural disasters such as earthquakes.
“It is true that the coronavirus epidemic has dimensions such as health services, food supply and public security.
“Our interior minister assured that no problems occurred in terms of public security in this process with his successful efforts for over a month,” it noted.