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Former minister urges ban in politics for 65+ including Erdoğan

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Erdoğan Bayraktar, a former minister of environment and urban planning, has indirectly called for the dismissal of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, advocating for a sweeping political ban on individuals aged 65 and older.

The former minister on Wednesday tweeted his five recommendations for the country to thrive. The fourth was banning involvement in politics for those 65 and older. Turkey’s Erdoğan is currently 69.

Bayraktar’s indirect call for Erdoğan’s removal by advocating a political ban on individuals aged 65 and above drew attention, especially considering his service in Erdoğan’s cabinet between 2011 and 2013.

Among the former minister’s other suggestions were cutting down the number of universities, almost halving the number of civil servants, reducing the number of MPs from 600 to 200 and taking measures against judges who “deliberately make incorrect decisions.”

Bayraktar said in August 2021 that the evidence against him in the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption investigation was genuine and not doctored as alleged by Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Making the admissions in an interview posted on YouTube, Bayraktar also accepted the charges against him in connection with a major graft scandal that had shaken the Turkish government to the core.

The December 17-25 bribery and corruption investigations shook the country back in 2013. The probe implicated, among others, the family members of four cabinet ministers as well as the children of then-prime minister and current President Erdoğan.

Despite the scandal resulting in the resignation of the cabinet members, the investigation was dropped after prosecutors and police chiefs were removed from the case. Erdoğan, officials of the ruling  AKP and the pro-government media have described the investigation as an attempt to overthrow the government.

Dismissing the investigations as a conspiracy against his government by the Gülen movement, a group inspired by Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, Erdoğan designated the faith-based movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members.

He locked up thousands, including many prosecutors, judges and police officers involved in the investigation.

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