Kurdish ministers resign from Turkey interim government

Friday 18/09/2015
Political turbulence

ANKARA - Two ministers from Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) resigned from the interim government at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the private channel NTV said.

EU Affairs Minister Ali Haydar Konca and Development Minister Muslum Dogan had joined the caretaker government ahead of snap elections due on November 1 -- the first time in Turkish history that representatives of a pro-Kurdish party had taken seats in the government.

According to a statement from the prime minister's office quoted by NTV, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accepted their resignation, and neither will be immediately replaced in his cabinet.

NTV said the ministers -- vocal critics of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) since they were appointed last month -- resigned over a debate on terrorism at the weekly cabinet meeting in Ankara.

The resignations come amid turbulence in Turkey. The military is waging an offensive against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has responded with bloody attacks on the security forces.

Davutoglu formed the caretaker government when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called new elections following a nationwide vote on June 7 whose outcome was inconclusive.

The AKP failed to win a majority for the first time since it came to power in 2002 but was also unable to form a coalition with the opposition.

The AKP became a partner with HDP -- which the government accuses of being a political front for the PKK -- after opposition parties refused to take part in the interim government.

HDP entered parliament for the first time in June after winning 13 percent of the vote.