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Turkish minister steps down amid failed coup crackdown

Associated Press Associated Press 31/08/2016

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has announced that the interior minister has stepped down and is being replaced by the labor minister.

Yildirim did not provide a reason for Efkan Ala's resignation on Wednesday, which comes as Turkey is engaged in a massive crackdown of people suspected of links to last month's failed coup.

Turkey has accused U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the failed attempt and is cracking down on his supporters. Some 35,000 people have been detained for questioning and more than 17,000 have been formally arrested to face trial, including soldiers, police, judges and journalists.

Yildirim said Suleyman Soylu, the minister for labor and social security, would replace Ala. Former health minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu would become the new labor minister.

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