Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly rejected the resignation of Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu who announced his exit citing the short-notice coronavirus lockdown. Turkey declared a 48-hour curfew on April 10 in several provinces starting midnight which left people scrambling for essential supplies and a wave of last-minute buying.
“The incidents that occurred ahead of the implementation of the curfew were not befitting the perfect management of the outbreak,” Soylu said in a statement announcing his resignation.
However, Erdogan’s director of communications announced that the President has not accepted the resignation owing to the “successful work” the Interior Minister has been doing for over a month. The office said that the minister has enabled strong coordination in the wake of natural disasters such as earthquakes through his persistent presence on the ground.
Director of communications further highlighted Soylu’s “important role” in substantially reducing the capacity of terrorist organizations to carry out terrorist acts in Turkey. It added that the coronavirus pandemic also has the dimensions of healthcare services, food supply, and public safety.
“The successful work which our Interior Minister has been doing for over a month has ensured that no public safety issues have been encountered in this process,” said the office in a statement.
Director of communications said that the President has informed the interior minister that his resignation request would not be approved. Turkey has reported nearly 57,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 1,198 deaths due to the infection which forced the government to opt for drastic measures to contain the virus.
According to the latest report, over 1.8 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with more than 114,800 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe. The United States, Italy, Spain and France are the worst-hit countries due to the pandemic with over 64 per cent of death toll reported from these four countries alone.
(Image source: AP)