Three Turkish ministers quit in routine prep for elections

Three Turkish ministers quit in routine prep for elections
Constitution requires three key cabinet members to leave office if they wish to stand in general elections.

Turkey’s government appointed three new ministers on Friday to replace the candidates planning to run in the general elections in June.

According to Article 114 of the  Turkish constitution, three ministers — the justice minister, the interiorminister and the  minister of transport, maritime affairs and communication — have to resign from theTurkish Grand National Assembly ahead of the general elections in order to prevent any pro-government bias.  

Turkey’s official gazette published on Friday that as of March 7, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag left his post to Justice Ministry undersecretary Kenan Ipek, Interior Minister Efkan Ala resigned his post to the ministry’s undersecretary Sebahattin Ozturk and Transportation, Maritime Affairs and CommunicationsMinister Lutfi Elvan left his post to undersecretary Feridun Bilgin.

Speaking at a ceremony in Ankara to delegate his post, Bozdag said that he was honored to hand over his position to his colleague Ipek.

“All the work we have done was to strengthen the rule of law, to increase confidence in the judiciary and to carry judicial satisfaction to the top level,” said Bozdag, who had been justice minister since Dec. 25, 2013.

Bozdag added that “serious steps” had been taken to increase judicial trust in the country.

He added that a new judicial reform strategy document which outlines the 2015-2019 roadmap has been prepared and will be announced once it has been presented to the ministerial cabinet.

Ipek said he worked with Bozdag for the past 14 months and that they have “prepared the judicial reform strategy document together.”

At another ceremony, former Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Elvan said he had worked hard to serve the Turkish people.

“We worked round-the-clock… only to serve our citizens, to develop and to progress this country,” Elvan, who had been in the post for the past 14 months, said.

Former Interior Minister Efkan Ala stated that all reforms involving domestic policies would continue even faster in the future, as “the nation deserves better quality security services.”

Ala said that Sebahattin Ozturk, equipped with theoretical and practical knowledge, was suitable for theminister position.