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    CRISIS IN JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT PARTY

    The three lawmakers are joining former Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin in resigning over the graft investigation in which four ministers, all replaced by a cabinet reshuffle on Dec. 25, have been implicated.

    In Turkey, Former Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay, İzmir MP Erdal Kalkan and Ankara MP Haluk Özdalga have announced their resignations from the party after the AKP's Central Executive Board (MYK) decided in a meeting late Dec. 26 to send them to discipline due to their "verbal and written remarks stigmatizing [the] party and the government."

    The three lawmakers are joining former Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin in resigning over the graft investigation in which four ministers, all replaced by a cabinet reshuffle on Dec. 25, have been implicated.

    Günay, a senior figure who drew attention with his criticisms on social media following the police crackdown on demonstrators during the Gezi protests, said he was "parting ways" with the AKP during a press statement on Dec. 27.

    "The central executive board and the president of the party have incited us into a decision that we had difficulties to make. While the party was facing serious accusations, they have tolerated the people responsible for those accusations and sending to discipline those who were inviting them to reason. They have made the decision easier," Günay said.
     
    Kalkan also announced his resignation from the AKP before waiting for the final decision of the committee via Twitter, taking aim at his party for showing defiance against corruption allegations. "I resign from the AKP letting you know that the world is turning and our people are not stupid," Kalkan said, slamming Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for not accepting any internal criticism inside the AKP.

    Özdalga, for his part, expressed deep concern over the ongoing situation and urged Prime Minister Erdoğan to pave the way for judgment of the ministers involved in corruption and bribery before the Supreme Council, similar to how the late Prime Minister, Turgut Özal, did at the time.

    "This is what leaders who go down in history as statesmen should do," Özdalga said, speaking at a press conference at Parliament on Dec. 27.
     



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