HANNES SWOBODA – EU BRUSSELS – CALLS FOR A NEW PRIME MINISTER IN TURKEY
MESOP LATEST : EU socialist group head suggests that Turkey ‘needs new prime minister’
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet – 26—12-2013 – The head of the European Parliament’s Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Hannes Swoboda suggested that Turkey needs a new prime minister following the resignations of three Cabinet ministers Dec. 25.
“Erdogan is in trouble after the resignations. Perhaps Turkey needs a new prime minister: less autocratic and more ready for dialogue,” Swoboda said via Twitter commenting on the resignations that came amid the graft scandal that has gripped the country. Swoboda had also criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s stance in the past, especially during the Gezi protests. Last May, Swoboda refused to meet with the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu after the latter described Erdoğan as a dictator and compared him with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on the sidelines of a joint press conference in Brussels.
Interior Minister Muammer Güler, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan and Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar resigned on Dec. 25 over claims implicating their sons for acting as intermediaries for giving and taking bribes. Twenty-four people have been arrested under the corruption investigation that rocked Turkey last week, including the sons of Güler and Çağlayan. Bayraktar’s son was released pending trial.