Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed Vahit Kirişci, a former member of parliament from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), as Agriculture and Forestry Minister, the Official Gazette said on March 4.
Former Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli resigned from the position, the Gazette said, without providing a reason for the resignation.
Pakdemirli released his statement via Twitter on March 4 morning.
Sayın Cumhurbaşkanımız Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’ın tensipleriyle 10 Temmuz 2018’den itibaren sürdürdüğüm Bakanlık görevimden ayrılmış bulunuyorum. Görevden af talebimi kabulleri için kendilerine şükranlarımı arz ediyor, yeni Bakanımız Sn. Vahit Kirişçi’ye başarılar diliyorum.— Dr. Bekir Pakdemirli (@bekirpakdemirli) March 4, 2022
A rapid succession of wildfires engulfing Turkey killed some 100 people in the summer of 2020.
The government was criticized over the lack of firefighting planes, with Turkey forced to accept help from Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia and Ukraine.
Pakdemirli at the time blamed opposition-run municipalities, prompting the Republican People's Party (CHP) to call for his resignation.
The 62-year-old Kirişci has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering and a doctoral degree from Cranfield University in the UK. He became a professor in 2003.
Kirişci was a deputy in the 22nd parliament of Turkey.
He became a member of the Turkiye-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission and served as deputy chairman.
Previously, he served as chairman of the Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.