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Erdogan fires trade minister amid scandal, reshuffles cabinet

In a pair of midnight decrees Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan over an alleged nepotism scandal and began a long-rumored cabinet reshuffle.
Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan gives a press conference following her meeting with US Secretary of Commerce n Ankara, on Sept. 10, 2019.

ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Recep Erdogan began a long-rumored cabinet reshuffle Wednesday, dismissing two ministers and appointing three, with more high-level appointments expected in the coming weeks.

In a late-night decree, Erdogan fired Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, who faced accusations of nepotism following a report Friday alleging she favored her spouse’s company in government tenders. According to the OdaTV news site, Pekcan directed the Trade Ministry to purchase 9 million liras' ($1.1 million) worth of disinfectants from two companies owned by her husband, Hasan Pekcan.

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