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Turkey: Cabinet reshuffle fails to ease public frustration

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Turkey: Cabinet reshuffle fails to ease public frustration
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The people of Turkey have woken up to another day of political turmoil, with news of a big cabinet reshuffle amid a high-level corruption scandal.

Ten new ministers have been named in Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government after three members of his cabinet resigned in the space of a single day.

Claiming that corruption is rife, Istanbul resident Kerem Gungor was dissatisfied by the shake-up, saying that Erdogan himself should step down.

“People have had enough,” he said. “Everybody feels under pressure. The new appointments will not reassure the public.”

His call for Erdogan to quit echoes the same demand made by disgruntled Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar, one of the trio who stepped down on Wednesday. All three had sons arrested in a police probe into corruption claims involving the state-run Halkbank. Bayraktar’s son was later released without charge.

Another man in Istanbul said he partly supported the prime minister. But Erdogan should not complain, he added, because he put the police and judiciary in the position they are in.

Frustration has spilled onto the streets, despite Erdogan’s claims that the whole affair is a foreign-orchestrated plot to sow discord in Turkey.

Anti-corruption demonstrations were held in Ankara, Izmir and in Istanbul, where parts of the protest turned ugly and clashes were reported.

Erdogan has already weathered anti-government demonstrations that swept the country in mid-2013. The year to come could be just as tumultuous.