Turkey’s Interior Minister Efkan Ala has resigned, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on August 31, following an unscheduled meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Ala will be replaced by Labour Minister Suleyman Soylu. Ala has been one of closest allies of Erdogan and the reasons behind his unexpected resignation remain unknown.
Ala’s three-year tenure was marred by a wave of terrorist attacks carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Islamic State. Hurriyet newspaper suggests that Erdogan demanded the minister’s resignation because he was not happy with Ala’s performance in the wake of July's coup attempt. The botched putsch raised questions about intelligence failings which government officials have acknowledged.
Erdogan has been urging swifter and harsher response to the coup and to supporters of the U.S-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who the government blames for the botched putsch, but Ala has been slow and rather ineffective, according to the newspaper.
In the wake of the coup, the government has purged thousands of Gulen supporters, including police officers, soldiers, judges, prosecutors and civil servants.
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