Labour and Social Security Minister Süleyman Soylu has been appointed as Turkey’s interior minister after the incumbent, Efkan Ala, resigned, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Wednesday.
The announcement came after an unexpected meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Yıldırım at the presidential complex in Ankara.
According to a tweet from an Ak Party Twitter account, Soylu was assigned the interior ministry and Dr Mehmet Müezzinoğlu the labour ministry.
ileri Bakanlna Sleyman Soylu, alma ve Sosyal Gvenlik Bakanl'na da Dr. Mehmet Mezzinolu atanmtr pic.twitter.com/IZIAusfAlI
— AK Parti (@Akparti) 31 August 2016
Yıldırım did not give detail about Ala’s resignation. However, he confirmed Müezzinoğlu had been appointed as Turkey’s labor and social security minister.
Turkish media outlets reported that even some cabinet members did not know about this last minute change, including Soylu himself. Soylu told reporters the move came as a surprise.
— Mehmet elik (@CelikMehmet0) 31 August 2016
The interior minister has a high-profile role in a nation seeking to stop foreigners crossing the southeastern frontier to join DAESH in Syria. The minister is also on the frontline of efforts to prevent militants infiltrating back into Turkey.
In addition, Turkey has been battling PKK, an organisation designated as a terror group by Turkey, EU, the US and NATO. The group launched a series of attacks since a ceasefire came to an end last year.