Pro-Kurdish ministers quit Turkish cabinet amid tension over violence

The prime minister gave no reason for their decision to leave the government, but sources claim they resigned over a disagreement on the government’s terrorism policies at a weekly cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.


Davutoglu moved swiftly to fill the void left by the outgoing ministers, appointing replacements described as independents late on Tuesday.

Two Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) ministers of Turkey’s interim government have resigned, authorities said Tuesday. It was the first time the country’s history that a pro-Kurdish party had taken seats in the government, clearing Turkey’s prohibitively high 10-percent vote hurdle required to gain a spot in parliament. Opposition parties refused to form a coalition with the conservative AKP, which had previously ruled without support.

The former minister also accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which has the most representation in the interim government, of instigating the instability in the East and Southeast in the aftermath of the June 7 election, which deprived the AK Party of a parliamentary majority for the first time since 2002.

Violence between the PKK and Turkey’s military reignited this summer after the collapse of peace talks between the two sides.

Recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the PKK waged an armed separatist war against Turkey for over 30 years resulting in more than 40,000 casualties, but maintained a rocky ceasefire with Ankara from 2013 until last month.

The HDP rejects the government’s allegations that it is a front for the PKK, which has been blamed for a string of attacks that have killed dozens of soldiers and police in recent weeks, since the fighting resumed.


The attack follows airstrikes which the Turkish military says killed five Kurdish rebels in the neighboring province of Hakkari.

Turkish PM replaces resigned Kurdish ministers