With the appointment of former Prime Ministry Undersecretary Efkan Ala as the new interior minister, all eyes have now turned to the long-awaited Decree of Governors and Police Chiefs, which is expected to widen the government's move to stifle the investigation by removing or reassigning the police force that might be involved in the graft probe.
According to circles in the Interior Ministry, the new decree envisages removing or reassigning 20 governors and 40 police chiefs.
A deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) told Today's Zaman on the condition of anonymity that he has also heard that the preparations for this plan are about to be completed. “But I don't know the details. As you know, for police chief appointments, a tripartite decree [requiring unanimous consent from the president, the prime minister and the interior minister] is imperative,” he said. Only a Cabinet decree is enough for governor assignments, however.
Circles claim that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was already considering an extensive reshuffle of governors, but the start of the corruption investigation, which has brought him unprecedented trouble since he came to power 11 years ago, made him decide to widen its scope.