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11:44 AM, July 4, 2015
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Vecdi Gonul is Turkey’s Defense Minister
Turkey's Defense Minister Vecdi Gonil

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s interim government has appointed Vecdi Gonil as new defense minister on Friday.

Ismet Yilmaz, who was serving the position, previously had to resign as he was running for election as parliament speaker. He was elected as parliament speaker on Wednesday.

Gonul was defense minister position during three consecutive governments formed by Turkey's Justice and Development Party that began in 2002 when it was first elected to power.

Davutoglu was quoted as saying by various reports Friday that he proposed Gonul as new defense minister for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's approval as the government prefers someone who has knowledge and experience. It is critical time for the government as it is dealing with neighbouring IS militants in Syria.

"This office cannot be run by a temporary assignment or by an acting minister," he said.

Ankara is alarmed as Syrian Kurd are advancing against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The turkey is also fighting to topple Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad and various other radical Islamist groups at its border with Syria.

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