Turkey's Erdoğan to replace ministers, party leaders - paper

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will replace some cabinet ministers and senior party officials as he prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections, according to a report in Hürriyet newspaper.

Changes to the cabinet will be made after a congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party planned for the Spring, where a few deputy heads of the party's group in parliament and officials serving on its central committee could be replaced, Hürriyet said, without citing anyone.

Erdoğan will also request that about one-third of mayors of municipalities in Istanbul step down, the newspaper said. This would follow the removal of the mayors of six of Turkey's largest cities over the past two months, acts that led to criticism from opposition politicians and analysts that Erdoğan was circumventing democracy.