Erdoğan sacks deputy health minister after announcing stricter COVID-19 steps

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dismissed Deputy Health Minister Muhammet Güven via a presidential decree published in the official gazette on Wednesday.

Sabahattin Aydın, the head of Istanbul Medipol University, will replace Güven.

Erdoğan sacked Güven the day after re-introducing restrictions on population movement designed to curb a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. The steps included a partial weekend curfew, more limited business hours, the closure of restaurants and cafes to in-house service and the shutting down of schools.

Aydın arrives from a hospital belonging to private medical group Medipol, which was founded by Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. Medipol is owned by the Turkey Education Health and Research Foundation (TESA), a government-affiliated medical foundation chaired by Koca.

Güven became deputy health minister in 2018 after serving as dean of Erciyes University faculty of medicine in the eastern province of Van.