Turkey interior minister resigns | News | DW | 31.08.2016
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Turkey interior minister resigns

The resignation was unexpected as he had played a key role in the post-coup attempt clean up. However, a string of bombings across the country on Efkan Ala's watch may have put pressure on the minister to step down.

Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala stepped down on Wednesday, following a string intelligence failures that resulted in a series of bombings and a failed coup attempt.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim made the announcement without giving a specific reason for Ala's resignation. Former Labor Minister Suleyman Soylu will be Turkey's new interior minister, Yildirim said.

In Turkey, the interior minister's portfolio includes high profile responsibilities such as stopping the flow of foreigners crossing the southeastern border to join "Islamic State" (IS) jihadists in Syria. Just hours before resigning, Ala announced that 865 people had been arrested since the beginning of 2016 while attempting to join the Syrian conflict, more than half of them foreigners.

While strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed intelligence failures for July's failed coup attempt, it hadn't seemed to stain Ala's career as he became one of the most central figures in the campaign to root out coup sympathizers and the far-reaching purge of public officials that entailed.

But a series of attacks blamed on IS and Kurdish militants, with whom Turkey has been engaged in a protracted conflict over several decades, may explain Ala's unexpected departure.

es/kms (AFP, Reuters)

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