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Akinci asks the PM why the head of religious affairs should be sacked

7 September 2017

North Cyprus News - Talip Atalay

President Mustafa Akinci has asked Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun to justify his demand that Talip Atalay, the head of Religious Affairs be dismissed from his duties, so that he can better evaluate the request.

Ozgurgun made this demand in a letter he sent to Akinci on August 22.

Atalay was investigated and questioned in Turkey in July following accusations that he is involved with the terrorist FETO organisation but was released later on.

Akinci has asked Ozgurgun to send him all the necessary documents and information to justify this demand, noting that all the actions undertaken by a government officer should be in accordance with the moral and legal responsibility of the post. He also asks Ozgurgun to name the person who could take Atalay’s place.

In his statement Akinci also noted that on May 26, in his weekly meeting with Ozgurgun, the prime minister again made certain accusations against Atalay but despite Akinci’s request for more details, Ozgurgun failed to provide him with any information on the subject.

The paper notes that Ozgurgun’s reply to Akinci’s demand is anticipated with great interest.

Commenting on the issue, columnist Polat Alper writes in Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris Postasi’ that Atalay’s arrest appeared to be the result of a plot against him; however, not everyone in the government shares this opinion and this is why Ozgurgun sent the letter to Akinci. The columnist goes on to say that apart from his arrest and the accusation that he was involved with FETO, Atalay is clear and no other accusations have been leveled against him. Therefore, why has Ozgurgun made the demand for Atalay’s removal from his post? In addition, Alper wonders who could possibly take over Atalay’s position and under what criteria.

Finally, the journalist asks if there is any secret decision in the investigation of Atalay in Turkey and that by making this request to Ozgurgun, Akinci is actually asking for this kind of information. “If this is what he wants to know, then why does he not say it openly?”, Alpar asks.

Diyalog, Kibris Postasi

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