The government was shaken by the resignations of three ministers on Wednesday due to a sweeping investigation of corruption and bribery, prompting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to introduce 10 new names to the ministries in a major Cabinet reshuffle.
Speaking after meeting with President Abdullah Gül, to whom he presented the new list, Erdoğan unveiled his new Cabinet.
Erdoğan said before announcing the new Cabinet that some ministers were already expected to leave their positions as they were named as candidates to run for mayoral posts on behalf of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in several cities in the upcoming local elections. The ruling AK Party named three ministers as candidates in three cities.
With the resignations of the three ministers on Wednesday, the prime minister found himself having to replace them with new politicians from within the ranks of the party.
With sweeping changes in major ministries, AK Party Denizli deputy Nihat Zeybekçi became the new economy minister following the resignation of Zafer Çağlayan, who faces allegations of bribery.
Efkan Ala, undersecretary of the Prime Ministry, came to the top spot of the Interior Ministry after Muammer Güler resigned over allegations of bribery that shook the ruling AK Party.
AK Party İstanbul deputy İdris Güllüce became the new environment and urban planning minister after Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar resigned on Wednesday. Bayraktar, who also called on Prime Minister Erdoğan to step down, said a “majority of the construction plans” that are mentioned as unlawful in the corruption investigation were approved upon the orders of the prime minister. “I believe that the prime minister should step down as well in order to please the Turkish public.”
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was named the new EU minister. The former chief negotiator and EU affairs minister, Egemen Bağış, faces accusations of bribery and fraud.
Sakarya deputy Ayşe İslam replaced Fatma Şahin as family and social policy minister after the latter was named the AK Party candidate for mayor in the southeastern city of Gaziantep, which is near the border with Syria.
Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün left his position to another AK Party deputy, Fikri Işık.
Samsun deputy Akif Çağatay Kılıç has become the new youth and sports minister.
Karaman deputy Lütfü Elvan became the new minister of transportation, maritime affairs and communications as Binali Yıldırım, who held the position for 11 years, faces allegations of corruption in a major high-speed rail line project.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ was named the new justice minister as Sadullah Ergin is preparing the run for mayor of the southern city of Antakya as the ruling AK Party's candidate in the local elections.
Emrullah İşler has become the new deputy prime minister.